Man Shoots Girlfriend & Kills Two Police Officers, Self In Baltimore To Brooklyn Rampage

Updated 6:00 PM EST
In what has been described as an execution-style attack, Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, 28, allegedly shot and killed NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu as they sat in their patrol car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon.
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Brinsley then fled to the Myrtle-Willoughby Avenue subway station, where he fatally shot himself in the head on the westbound G subway platform as other officers approached.
"They were quite simply, assassinated — targeted for their uniform and for the responsibility they embraced to keep the people of this city safe," NYPD Commissioner William Bratton told reporters at a press conference, where, notably, many police officers turned their backs on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as he entered. Tensions between the mayor and the force have been high throughout the weeks of protests related to police killings across the country, including that of Eric Garner. The Patrolman's Benevolent Association, an outspoken officer's advocacy group, has gone so far as to disinvite de Blasio from the funerals of officers killed in the line of duty.
The mayor, who has supported the right of citizens to protest police brutality, nevertheless spoke strongly about the murders.“When a police officer is murdered, it tears at the very foundation of our society," said de Blasio. "It is an attack on all of us. Our entire city was attacked by this heinous individual.” He said that he had met with the families of the slain officers and stressed that this is not “a time for politics or political analysis.”
It is unlikely he will get what he asked for. President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, former Governor George Pataki, and others immediately weighed in on the shooting, confirming its political implications. With tensions running high between police and protestors around the country, many on social media speculated that the execution-style killings were motivated by revenge for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police.
The New York Post discovered what was alleged to be Brinsley's Instagram account (now offline). One of the posts appeared to be a photograph of a bloody pant leg and shoe, with a quote from the 50 Cent song “Green Lantern."
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"Never had a hot gun on your waist and blood on your shoe…n*gga you ain’t been through what I been through you not like me and I’m not like you." The post included the hashtags #BrooklynGoHard and #ConeyIsland.
Another post showed an image of a silver pistol with the words ““I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours......Let’s Take 2 of Theirs #ShootThePolice #RIPErivGardner #RIPMikeBrown.”
It ended with the words “This May Be My Final Post.”
Reports that Brinsley also shot his girlfriend before heading to NYC bring another dimension to the conversation — the fact that domestic violence is a factor in the majority of mass shootings. The woman, 29-year-old Shaneka Nicole Thompson, is in critical but stable condition and is expected to survive.
Other reports indicate that Brinsley posted a Quranic verse on his Facebook page (also offline). Though Bratton seemed skeptical that the suspect was connected to any terrorist group, The New York Daily News reports that Brinsley — who is believed to reside in Georgia — may have had ties to the Black Guerrilla Family, a prison gang that a few weeks ago threatened to kill on-duty police officers. Georgia deputies arrested Brinsley for trespassing in 2007.
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Baltimore authorities had apparently received information that Brinsley made threatening comments about police and sent a warning to the NYPD, though the message arrived too late. “The tragedy here is that just as the warning was coming in, the murder was occurring,” said Bratton. The commissioner indicated that Brinsley was believed to have some connection to Brooklyn, but specifics have yet to be disclosed.
Meanwhile, social media sites were filled with images and assessments from various parties. Click through to read relevant statements from President Obama, Al Sharpton, NYPD officers, and others.
President Obama's statement on the killings.
Mayor De Blasio at the press conference on Saturday.
The Reverend Al Sharpton reacted to the shootings on Twitter and issued a statement saying "Any use of the names of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, in connection with any violence or killing of police, is reprehensible and against the pursuit of justice in both cases."
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“I condemn this afternoon's senseless shooting of two New York City police officers in the strongest possible terms," said Eric Holder. "This was an unspeakable act of barbarism, and I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of these two brave officers in the line of duty."
Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
A NYPD officer's tweet shows the divide between the force and the mayor's office.
A Twitter user speculates about connections between the alleged gunman's Instagram and an image from the crime scene.
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A memo purportedly from the Patrolman's Benevolent Association made the rounds on social media but the PBA denied it came from them.
Former New York Governor George Pataki made it clear where he stands — on this issue and as a presidential hopeful.
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