Gunman Allegedly Attacks NYPD Twice in 12 Hours; 2 Hurt Officers Expected to Survive

The NYPD arrested a gunman allegedly behind two attacks on uniformed officers in a Bronx precinct in under 12 hours

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What to Know

  • A NYPD lieutenant was shot Sunday morning in the Bronx, following an earlier attack on two uniformed officers Saturday night
  • The attacks happened in the same precinct, just blocks from each other and less than 12 hours apart
  • The NYPD believes one gunman is behind both attacks and will test a firearm recovered at the scene of the second shooting

A Bronx man was arrested and charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting an NYPD lieutenant Sunday morning — just 12 hours after he shot another officer during an ambush in the same precinct, police said.

The NYPD said Robert Williams, 45, of the Bronx, walked into the 41st Precinct, which serves Hunts Point and Longwood, just before 8 a.m. Sunday and opened fire on several uniformed officers, as well as a civilian employee. Williams shot at a lieutenant positioned by a front desk, striking him in the upper left arm, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

After firing multiple rounds at close range, Williams allegedly placed his gun on the floor and lay down to surrender, Shea said. Police recovered the shooter's firearm empty of bullets, according to Shea, and will test it against evidence gathered from the scene of Saturday's shooting.

Video obtained by News 4 shows the moment Williams allegedly walked into the precinct and opened fire. The gunman in the video is seen moving between rooms carrying a firearm before lying on the ground, presumably when he surrendered to police.

The NYPD said the gunman walked into the 41st precinct just before 8 a.m. Sunday and opened fire on several uniformed officers as well as a civilian employee.

Sunday's shooting occurred at the 41st Precinct at the corner of Southern Boulevard and Longwood Avenue — just blocks away from Saturday night's attack on Simpson Street.

Shea said he is "confident" Williams is behind both attacks in the Bronx neighborhood.

The lieutenant, identified by the NYPD as Lt. Jose Gautreaux, was in stable condition as of 10 a.m., according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and is expected to make a full recovery.

A senior police official said Williams was paroled in 2017 after an attempted murder conviction. Williams faces charges including attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest, the NYPD said.

"[The suspect] has a lengthy violent criminal history. He was paroled in 2017 for an incident in which an individual in the Bronx was shot; a subsequent carjacking of a female ; and then a crash of a car where he engaged in a gunfight with members of the New York City Police Department. That was in 2002. He was convicted of attempted murder and was paroled in 2017," Shea said at a news conference Sunday.

NYPD

In a tweet Sunday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was "horrified by the multiple attacks on NYPD officers in the Bronx."

Williams allegedly approached two officers Saturday around 8:30 p.m., engaged them in conversation, then pulled out a gun and fired at the officers sitting inside a marked police van, Shea said.

"Let me be very clear: this was an assassination attempt on two New York City officers," Shea said Saturday night from Lincoln Hospital.

The officer in the driver's seat of the van was struck by two bullets, the NYPD said, in the chin and the neck. The officer had started to drive away when the suspect pulled out the gun and fired multiples times, police said.

One of the officers injured over the weekend in a series of "assassination attempts" was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon.

The second officer in the van moved to the driver's seat and drove the injured officer to Lincoln Hospital, where he was conscious and alert Saturday evening.

The wounded officer was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon, wheeled out surrounded by dozens of officers. The NYPD confirmed the officer's identify as Paul Stroffolino.

The two officers, sources tell News 4, are childhood friends who joined the department months apart.

The officers had been stationed in the neighborhood because of recent drug activity and violence, Shea said.

President Donald Trump on Sunday morning tweeted that the NYPD is "under assault" due to the "weak leadership" of de Blasio and Cuomo, both Democrats.

Law enforcement sources say they believe Williams was driven to the police precinct. Police said they have been speaking to the woman who allegedly drove him. 

The mother of the woman, whose daughter has not been charged, told News 4 the two were childhood friends “from the age of 10.” 

The mother, who declined to give her name or appear on camera, said her daughter used to work as a civilian dispatcher for the NYPD, adding that she has never been in trouble with the law before. 

“I know she has nothing to do with this. She’s a good girl,” the woman said.

Williams' grandmother, 80-year-old Mary Williams, on Sunday told News 4 her grandson had been looking for a job recently, adding that he “didn’t have no problem with no police lately.” 

Robert Williams' attorney information wasn't immediately available Sunday.

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