Crime and Courts
Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.
The Bronx

‘I Was Really Shocked’: Grandmother of Suspect in NYPD Attacks Speaks Out

The suspect's grandmother told NBC 4 New York her grandson had been looking for a job recently, adding that he "didn't have no problem with no police lately”

NBCUniversal, Inc.

What to Know

  • Robert Williams allegedly shot two NYPD officers in the Bronx in the span of 12 hours this weekend
  • Williams' grandmother says her grandson had no problems with the police, and had been looking for a job recently
  • Both of the officers who were shot are expected to make full recoveries, the NYPD said

The grandmother of a man who allegedly shot and injured two NYPD officers in the Bronx in two separate incidents this weekend said she is in disbelief over the attacks.

Robert Williams allegedly shot an NYPD lieutenant inside the 41st Precinct Sunday morning, just 12 hours after he allegedly ambushed two other officers on Simpson Street, which is blocks from the precinct, the NYPD and a senior police official said. 

A NYPD lieutenant was shot Sunday morning in the Bronx, just 12 hours after two officers were ambushed by a gunman in the same precinct. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on Sunday said Williams has a “lengthy” criminal history, including a 2002 shooting and carjacking in which he also fired a gun at police officers. He was paroled in 2017, Shea said. 

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

“I was really shocked,” she said of the allegations. “I would tell him to get his life straight and don’t do things like that. Because I love him, and God loves him.” 

Mary Williams said she last spoke with her grandson, whom she raised in the Soundview section of the Bronx, on Saturday at 2 p.m., several hours before he allegedly approached two officers sitting inside a marked police van, pulled out a gun and fired at them, hitting one officer in the chin and the neck. 

"I was really shocked. I would tell him to get his life straight and don't do things like that. Because I love him, and God loves him."

Mary Williams, Robert Williams' grandmother

“I put food in the house and I said, ‘You got food in the house, now you don’t have to go out for anything — you can just relax and watch TV,’” she recalled. 

Mary Williams told News 4 her grandson's son was shot and killed in the Bronx two years ago but didn't immediately provide additional details about his death.

Law enforcement sources say they believe Robert Williams was driven to the police precinct. Police say 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 woman, 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. 

The lieutenant shot at the 41st Precinct, identified by the NYPD as Lt. Jose Gautreaux, was in stable condition as of 10 a.m. Sunday, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and is expected to make a full recovery. 

Two NYPD officers who were shot in the Bronx over the weekend are expected to survive. Myles Miller reports.

The officer shot inside the marked police van on Saturday evening, identified by police as Paul Stroffolino, was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon.

Copyright NBC New York
Contact Us