New York City

NYPD Honors Fallen Officer as Authorities Reveal Killer Was Taken to Hospital for Psychiatric Treatment Days Before Shooting

What to Know

  • The body of Officer Miosotis Familia was moved from a Manhattan hospital to a Bronx funeral home
  • Hundreds of officers saluted the ambulance carrying Familia during the somber procession Thursday evening
  • Police revealed new details about her killer, including that he was taken to a hospital for psychiatric treatment days before the shooting

Hundreds of officers honored a fallen NYPD officer on Thursday as her body was moved to a Bronx funeral home, and new details emerged about the troubled state her killer was in in the days leading up to the attack.

The body of Officer Miosotis Familia, 48, was taken from Bellevue Hospital to Schuyler Hill Funeral Home. Hundreds of her fellow officers stood and saluted as the ambulance left the hospital and as it arrived at the funeral home.

Some officers wiped away tears as the procession moved slowly down East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx shortly before 6 p.m. Residents also gathered on the street to pay their respects, as did members of the FDNY and other emergency services.

The somber event took place as new details emerged about 34-year-old Alexander Bonds, the man police say shot and killed Familia early Wednesday morning. 

At a question-and-answer session following an NYPD swearing-in ceremony, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce revealed that Bonds’ girlfriend took him to St. Barnabas Hospital on Saturday, July 1, for psychiatric treatment. He was released later that day.

Then on Tuesday night, just 2 ½ hours before the shooting, Boyce said Bonds’ girlfriend called 911 to say he had been acting paranoid and erratic, but that he was not armed. She said he had been acting that way for weeks. Police were dispatched to check on Bonds, but they couldn’t find him.

A short time later, after midnight Wednesday morning, police say he shot Familia through the passenger window of an NYPD mobile command unit as she sat with her partner. Newly released video from a bodega near 183rd Street and Morris Avenue shows dozens of officers rushing to help Familia after the shooting. The mother of three was taken to a hospital in critical condition. She later died.

“Make no mistake about it — Officer Familia is dead because of Alexander Bonds and his hatred of police,” Boyce said.

Bonds, who had been on parole for a robbery case in Syracuse, was gunned down by officers a block away from the crime scene following a brief chase. He had been arrested in New York City at least six times for charges including selling drugs and assaulting police with brass knuckles in 2001.

As the investigation continues, law enforcement sources said authorities are paying attention to a video posted on what appears to be Bonds’ Facebook page back in September. In the video, Bonds is allegedly rambling that law officers got away with killing and abusing people, he warned them to leave him alone or "we gonna do something."

"I'm not playing, Mr. Officer. I don't care about 100 police watching this," the suspect said in the page otherwise filled largely with inspirational quotes and quizzes.

While he railed in his video about how inmates are treated behind bars, prison records show he had been written up more than two dozen times for disciplinary reasons - mostly for relatively minor infractions, but sometimes for top-level violations such as attacking an inmate or fighting.

In a statement Thursday evening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the fact that Bonds was quickly released from the hospital only days before the shooting “raises many questions.” The governor said he is directing the state Department of Health and Office of Mental Health to launch, “an immediate review of St. Barnabas Hospital's actions and policies in admitting, treating and discharging this individual.”

"Under tragic circumstances such as these, it is critical to ensure all proper procedures and safeguards were taken,” Cuomo said. “This review will determine if all relevant state laws, regulations and guidelines were followed.”

Cuomo has directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff in memory of Familia.

St. Barnabas Hospital said it welcomes any investigation and will fully cooperate.

"We believe all mental health procedures and safeguards were properly followed in the hospital's evaluation of Mr. Bond during the 7 to 8-hour period he was observed in our emergency room on July 1," hospital spokesman Steven Clark said in a statement, which incorrectly referred to the killer as Bond, not Bonds.

At the question-and-answer session Thursday, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill revealed that his department will retrofit more vehicles with bullet-resistant glass and panels, including the mobile command unit vehicles that Familia was in when she was shot to death. O'Neill said the original plan was to outfit all patrol vehicles with the ballistic glass, not command vehicles or buses. That changed in the wake of Familia’s death.

About 2,200 patrol cars have already been retrofitted with ballistic protection, O’Neill said.

Flowers, handwritten notes and posters still lined the sidewalks outside Familia’s 46th Precinct stationhouse Thursday, hours after family members, fellow police officers, Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner O’Neill gathered to pay their respects at the building where she spent her entire career. Some officers were visibly distraught, crying and hugging one another.

At Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony, O’Neill addressed 524 new NYPD recruits as they stood shoulder to shoulder on a path to policing.

“Perhaps you and your family are questioning whether you’re making the right decision today, especially after yesterday’s tragedy in the Bronx,” O’Neill told the recruits. “I’m here to tell you, you are making the right decision.”

“We’re angry. We’re sad. We’re frustrated. If we weren’t any of those things we wouldn’t be human beings. But through times like these we must remember — policing is about hope.”

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