Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and killed two NYPD officers before committing suicide in Brooklyn’s Bed Stuy neighborhood just before 3 p.m. on December 20. He’s believed to have walked up to the cop’s patrol car and opened fire, “execution” style. The murdered cops have been named as officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. Both cops were rushed to Woodhull Medical Center in critical condition after the shooting. Sadly, the two officers were pronounced dead just after 5 p.m.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. In Revenge for Eric Garner & Michael Brown, He Said He’d ‘Put Wings on Pigs’
Detectives believe that Brinsley thought of the shooting as a revenge mission for Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
One of his last Instagram posts included lyrics to the 50 Cent song “Green Lantern” — “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 #ConeyIsland.” The next showed a picture of a silver handgun with the words “I’m putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours…Let’s take 2 of theirs.” It included the hashtags “#shootthepolice” as well as references to Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
The Rev. Al Sharpton told the Wall Street Journal that he had spoken to the family of Eric Garner:
The Garner family and I have always stressed that we do not believe that all police are bad, in fact we have stressed that most police are not bad.
The shooting happened on a busy Saturday afternoon along Myrtle Avenue and Tompkins Avenue (below) in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. It happened close to the Tompkins Houses apartment buildings.
2. Brinsley Shot Himself Dead on a Crowded Subway Platform
After the shooting, he took his own life. Brinsley, 28, ran to the platform of a Subway station on Marcy Avenue and killed himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, reports NBC New York.
He was taken to a Brooklyn hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police recovered a silver handgun from his death scene. One witness told the New York Daily News that Brinsley just walked up “shot the cop in the head.” Both officers had been working overtime on an anti-terrorism drill when the shooting happened.
3. He Shot His Girlfriend in the Stomach & Then Boarded a Bolt Bus to New York
New York One reports that he had shot his girlfriend, Shaneka Thompson, 29, in Baltimore and had come to New York City with the sole intention of killing NYPD officers. He shot her in the stomach around 5 a.m. on the morning he killed two cops.
The New York Times reports that at 5:50 a.m., cops in Baltimore County were called to Thompson’s home where they found her wounded. She told them that Ismaaiyl Brinsley had come to her home, entered using his key, and began arguing with her. Thompson says she called her mom to complain about Brinsley being there, her mother told cops that she heard her daughter arguing with Brinsley until the phone went dead. Shankea Thompson’s mother called the police. When cops arrived they found Thompson wounded but conscious, she told them that Brinsley had shot her and stolen her phone. The Times reports that Brinsley then borded a BoltBus to New York City.
At 6:30 a.m., Baltimore County police started to track Shaneka Thompson’s phone and located it heading north along Interstate 95. The Wall Street Journal reports that while he was on the bus, Brinsley was constantly calling Shaneka Thompson’s mother to find out her daughter’s condition while repeatedly saying the shooting had been an accident. Just before 11 a.m., Brinsley arrived in New York City, he boarded an N Subway train to Brooklyn.
Baltimore County police say they lost track of the phone just after midday at the Barclay’s Center. Prior to ditching the phone, Brinsley used it to make his infamous Instagram posts. At 2:10 p.m., Baltimore County police sent the 70th precinct in Brooklyn a fax of Brinsley’s wanted poster. Police Commissioner William J. Bratton told the media on Saturday that the fax was received at 2:45 p.m., nearly exactly the time when Brinsley killed Officers Ramos and Liu. NYPD Chief of Detectives, Robert Boyce, admitted at a press conference on December 22 that investigators don’t know where Brinsley was between noon and the shooting.
Around eight hours before the shooting, Brinsley posted this message to Facebook:
Josh Dawsey of the Wall Street Journal tweeted that Brinsley had ties in Brooklyn and Ohio but his last known address was in Georgia.
4. He Was a Member of the Prison Gang, the Black Guerilla Family
According to his Facebook page, Brinsley speaks Arabic. CBS Baltimore reports that Brinsley had been a member of the prison gang, the Black Guerilla Family.
His favorite quotation on his page is:
The Foot You Step On Today Could Be Connected To The The Ass You May Have To Kiss Tomorrow.
On his Facebook page he went by the moniker “Bleau Barracuda.” According to an arrest sheet for Brinsley from 2007 in Georgia, his middle name is Abdullah. In that incident, Brinsley was accused of criminal trespass. According to family members, Brinsley attempted suicide in 2013.
5. Protesters Had Been Chanting ‘We Want Dead Cops’ A Week Before the Shooting
On December 15, NBC New York reported that protesters for justice in the case of Eric Garner were heard chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!” Video later emerged of the protest (above).
This shooting comes two months after axe-wielding maniac, Zale Thompson, attacked a group of NYPD officers. He wounded two but was shot dead by the other cops who were present.
Thompson’s Facebook page showed multiple references to Black Power. Prior to the attack, he had been discharged from the Navy.