It has been 38 years since Shuaib Raheem was incarcerated for shooting 29-year-old NYPD officer Stephen Gilroy.
Today the New York State Parole Board voted 2-1 to release him.
The parole board had denied his request six times before, but in 2007 the decision was made to release Raheem. Then, after cries from the widow of officer Gilroy and Commissioner Ray Kelly, the decision was rescinded.
In 1973 Raheem entered the John and Al’s Sporting Good Store in Brooklyn in an attempt to rob it. During the course of the robbery an alarm was tripped and police officers responded to the scene.
Raheem and his crew took 12 hostages -- and had access to rifles, shotguns and ammunition that were for sale in the store. Causing the the two sides to engage in a 47-hour stand-off. During the event, Raheem told his fellow bandits “There’s a head popping out form behind the el pillar. Shoot when you see it.”
When shots finally were fired, Gilroy was the head, eventually dying from the injury. When officer Gilroy was shot and killed he exclaimed: “We killed a cop. We can kill anyone else we want now.” Officer Frank Carpentier was wounded trying to help Gilroy.
Raheem, 60, was informed today that he will released on July 8.
The decision came as a surprise to the PBA, who was notified of the decision today. According to the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association Raheem's parole hearing was not put on the calendar and the widow of Officer Gilroy was not informed of Raheem’s release.
"Tragically, in the case of this murdering animal, the worst possible decision was made," said Patrick J. Lynch, President of the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.
Lynch also noted that the officer's widow was, "Devastated and is in the process of notifying her family members."
He added, "I cannot express in words how angry New York City police officers are about the unjust and wrong-headed decision by the Parole Board of New York State to release a cold-blooded cop killer into society."