Gunman who killed 2 NYPD officers had troubled past, mother, police say

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The mother of a gunman who ambushed and murdered two NYPD officers as they sat in their squad car Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn told authorities that she was scared of her son and he had a troubled childhood, often acting violent.

New York City Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told reporters Sunday afternoon that 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who approached the passenger window of a marked police car at approximately 2:45 p.m. local time and opened fire — striking Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in the head — had numerous run-ins with law enforcement.

Brinsley has been arrested 15 times in Georgia, and four in Ohio for assorted crimes, Boyce said. In posts on social media, the gunman expressed anger against the United States government at himself, Boyce added.

The silver handgun used in Saturday’s shooting in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood was bought at a pawn shop in Georgia in 1996 and authorities are now working with the ATF to determine how it ended up in Brinsley’s hands.

Investigators are also trying to determine if Brinsley had taken part in any protests over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, whose names he invoked in his online threat, or simply latched on to the cause for the final act of a violent spree. Police said he had no gang affiliation.

Ramos family on Sunday asked for a “peaceful co-existence” and hopes that the community can move forward from the shooting.

Ramos was married with a 13-year-old son and had another in college, police and a friend told the Associated Press. He had been on the job since 2012 and was a school safety officer.

The New York Yankees will pay for the education of both children, the New York Daily News reports.

Liu had been on the job for seven years and got married two months ago.

The killings dramatically escalated tensions that have simmered for months over the deaths of young black men.

Another directive warned officer in Newark, New Jersey not to patrol alone and avoid people looking for confrontations with them. A the same time, a memo from an NYPD chief asked officers to avoid fanning rage within the ranks by limiting comments “via all venues, including social media, to expressions of sorrow and condolence. … Even in our most difficult times, we will remain consummate professionals.”

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