Police Officer Wenjian Liu
New York City Police Department, New York
End of Watch: Saturday, December 20, 2014
Tour of Duty: 4 years
Badge Number: 944235
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: December 20, 2014
Weapon Used: Handgun
Suspect Info: Committed suicide
Agency Contact Information
Commissioner William J. Bratton
New York City Police Department
1 Police Plaza
New York, NY 10038
Phone: (646) 610-6700
Police Officer Wenjian Liu and Police Officer Rafael Ramos were shot and killed from ambush while sitting in their patrol car at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Thompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Both officers were participating in an anti-terrorism drill when a subject walked up their patrol car and opened fire with a handgun, striking them both in the head and upper body multiple times. Other officers immediately pursued the the subject into a nearby subway station where the man committed suicide.
The subject was a gang member from Baltimore, Maryland, who had traveled to New York City specifically to ambush police officers. The man had published his intentions on social media prior to the shooting.
Officer Liu had served with the New York City Police Department for four years.
Liu just got married two months ago.
Two uniformed NYPD officers were shot dead Saturday afternoon as they sat in their marked police car on a Brooklyn street corner — in what investigators believe was a crazed gunman’s assassination-style mission to avenge Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
“It’s an execution,” one law-enforcement source said of the 3 p.m. shooting.
The tragic heroes were working overtime as part of an anti-terrorism drill in Bedford-Stuyvesant when they were shot point-blank in the head by the lone gunman, identified by sources as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, who had addresses in Georgia and Brooklyn.
Moments after killing the two officers, he too was dead, having turned the gun on himself on a nearby subway platform as cops closed in.
“I’m Putting Wings on Pigs Today,” a person believed to be the gunman wrote on Instagram in a message posted just three hours before the officers were shot.
“They Take 1 Of Ours…Let’s Take 2 of Theirs,” the post continued, signing off with, “This May Be My Final Post.”
The Instagram page included an image of a silver automatic handgun with a wooden handle. Another image showed the same camouflage pants and distinctive blue sneakers worn by the gunman as his body was carried from the scene on a stretcher.
He used the hashtag #ShootThePolice, along with two other hashtags referencing Garner and Brown.
Brinsley walked up to the cops’ patrol car at the corner of Myrtle and Tompkins avenues, approaching from the sidewalk.
Witnesses told police that Brinsley wordlessly blasted into the patrol car’s front passenger-side window.
Then he stood stock still for a few moments, fleeing into the subway only when he heard the sirens of a second police car.
Once in the subway, “they engaged the guy and he did himself,” one investigator said.
Brinsley was a fugitive who had just murdered his girlfriend in Baltimore Saturday morning, sources told The Post.
The two officers were pronounced dead at Woodhull Hospital, where their colleagues and family members huddled tearfully.
City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio were less than welcome guests at the poignant gathering.
“We’re all in this together,” the mayor told grieving cops, according to a cop who was there.
“No we’re not,” one officer said tersely in response.
Just last week cops began signing a “Don’t Insult My Sacrifice” waiver, distributed by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, that warned the mayor and speaker to stay away from funerals of cops killed in the line of duty.
Lieutenants Benevolent Association President Lou Turco, like many cops, likened the murders to the 1988 assassination of Police Officer Eddie Byrne.
The 22-year-old rookie cop was alone in a squad car in Jamaica, Queens, guarding the home of a witness in a drug case, when he was shot in the head five times. The hit was ordered by jailed drug kingpin “Pappy” Mason, in retaliation for his arrest.
“I don’t even know how to respond to this,” Turco said. “Twenty-eight years on and I don’t know what to say.”
Another cop, who is black, said he fears that “this is just the beginning.
“There are people out there who will want to be copycats. The tension out there is the worst I’ve ever seen it.”
Both shooting locations — above and below ground — were scenes of blood and terror.
“I heard shooting, — four or five shots,” ear-witness Derrick McKie, 49, told The Post of the cops’ tragic murder.
“It sounded like from a single gun,” he said. Ambulances and police cars — at least one located only a block away — rushed to the scene, he said.
“I seen them putting the cop in the ambulance. He looked messed up,” McKie, a barber, added. “He took a high caliber weapon to the face. He was lifeless…I couldn’t see where the holes was that, all I could see was blood. His body was lifeless.”
Singer and songwriter Uriel Winfree III rushed to her roof when she heard the gunshots nearby.
“There was a cop on the ground everyone was around him,” she recalled.
“They were doing CPR on the cop, then they loaded him in the ambulance and they are hauling ass. Everyone was hauling ass.”
Carmen Jimenez, 32, a social worker from Bed-Stuy, was on the platform when the gunman ran inside, pursued by officers.
“Everything happened so quick,” said Jimenez, who is eight months pregnant.
“We were standing waiting for the G train. We heard arguing from the other end of the platform.
“It looked like two cops came in there was lots of yelling and they said, ‘Everybody get down.’
“We tried to get out of there, and there was a lot of shouting, people were screaming, people were trying to run.
“I threw myself on the floor. I was afraid for my life and afraid for my baby.”
Brinsley has a criminal record dating back to at least 2006, when he was arrested in Georgia for carrying a concealed weapon, a knife, as well as shoplifting, according to online records.
The next year he was nabbed in Dekalb County., Ga., for criminal trespass, and by 2009, he was indicted in Ohio for robbery — a charge that was later apparently dismissed.
In 2011, the shooter was arrested again in Georgia for reckless conduct, tampering with evidence, criminal property damage, and discharging his weapon. The outcome of the case is unknown.
“My deepest thoughts and prayers are with the families of the police officers killed in the line of duty today, Public Advocate Letitia James said in a statement.
“Today, the entire city mourns with the NYPD.”