News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Oct. 22, 2015: On Tuesday he was only another black New York City police officer, assigned to the East Harlem beat with five years of service under his belt. By end of day, he was a hero; albeit a dead one!
Third generation Police Officer Randolph Holder became a hero in death after he was shot in the head allegedly by Tyrone “Peanut” Howard, 30. The Brooklyn resident was doing his job when a criminal with a lengthy rap sheet shot him point blank in the head on October 20, 2015.
His killing yesterday led to all flags across New York state and city being ordered lowered to half-staff yesterday by both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Yesterday Cuomo held a moment of silence for Officer Holder – a man he never met while de Blasio delivered a moving speech.
“This sadness is so hard to describe, what everyone is going through, and we’re fighting to understand the loss of a man who did so much, cared so much, dedicated his life to protecting other,” Mayor de Blasio said of the officer he also never met. “An immigrant who wanted to give back to his city and his country, and who had an exemplary record as a police officer, who did everything the right way. We honor the memory of Officer Holder, a man who, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, gave the last full measure of his devotion on behalf of the city he loved.”
He then said the American Flag, the New York State and City flags and the POW-MIA flags shall be flown at half-staff on all City buildings and stationary flagstaffs throughout the five boroughs until Officer Holder is buried.
Governor Cuomo also directed that flags on all state government buildings also fly at half staff until Holder’s internment while the Empire State building last night also lit up in blue in remembrance on Holder.
The cop who loved playing deejay and reggae and soca music would have been proud. But his family is at a loss and too grief stricken to take it all in. After all, nothing now will bring back their son and relative.
“He should have been closing on a house next month in Valley Stream, but all of the dreams went down the drain,” his father Randolph Holder Sr. said Wednesday morning.
Holder’s last minutes were yesterday recounted by William Aubry, chief of detectives for Manhattan. He revealed that the incident began when two housing officers were on the roof of a building at 420 E. 102nd Street in east Harlem, NY and “they hear and they see individuals firing weapons at each other.”
The men used at least three weapons, Aubry said. Howard was one of the men, and he fled north on a promenade that runs between the FDR Drive and the East River, Aubry said.
At 106th Street, Howard stole a bicycle from a man at gunpoint and continued north, the chief said. Meanwhile, Officer Holder and his partner, both in plainclothes, had been following three men across a walkway over the drive at 120th Street, believing mistakenly that the men were part of the group that had exchanged gunfire, Aubry said.
As Holder and his partner walked down the ramp on the promenade side, they encountered Howard heading north on the stolen bicycle, Aubry said.
“When Tyrone approaches them on the bicycle, he puts the bike down, he pulls out his weapon and he fires one time, striking the officer [Holder] in the front of the head,” Aubry said. Howard then approached Holder’s partner, who fired once, the chief said.
Howard fled north on the promenade, where he was arrested by other officers between 124th and 125th streets, Aubry said.
Yesterday, the NYPD said the suspected killer was police custody and is expected to be charged.. The Associated Press reported that Howard had been arrested 28 times since he was 13 years old on offenses including drug possession and robbery, authorities said. He has been sentenced to state prison twice since 2007 on drug possession and sale convictions, state records show.
Holder was the fourth New York Police Department officer to be killed in the last 11 months, Police Commissioner William Bratton said.
Nationwide, 100 officers have died in the line of duty so far in 2015, up 15 percent from this time last year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a nonprofit law enforcement information clearinghouse.
Pat Lynch, President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said Tuesday night he “had the unfortunate responsibility to tell a father his son is not coming home today.”
“New York City police officers, every day, go out and carry themselves like superheroes on the street. But the reality is, when we’re attacked we bleed, when we bleed we die, and when we die we cry,” Lynch added.
Yesterday, the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) expressed sadness as well at the officer’s killing while condemning “the wanton murder.”
“The light of another one of New York’s bravest has gone out,” President Rickford Burke said. “His death underscores the inherent dangers our law enforcement officers confront each day as they work to keep our City safe. We are thankful for their sacrifices and eternally grateful for their service.”
He also urged all of New York City to come together to denounce the “senseless killing” as well as the inability of lawmakers to enact legislation to curb illicit gun sales and get illegal guns out of the hands of criminals and off our streets.
The NYPD urged all to join them “in praying for Officer Randolph Holder and his family.”
Chief Aubry said detectives will with prosecutors about a murder charge in the slaying of Holder.