A 38-year-old man ambushed and fatally shot a NYPD officer while she sat in a mobile command post early Wednesday in an “unprovoked attack” in the Bronx, police say.
Alexander Bonds, a 34-year-old with a lengthy criminal record, including for assault on a police officer, was shot dead by police after killing Officer Miosotis Familia.
The 48-year-old officer was rushed to the hospital after the attack, but could not be saved. Police are still investigating the killing, which authorities have called an assassination.
Bonds was homeless and also went by the name John Bonds, the New York Times reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Video Shows Bonds Walking Up to the Mobile Command Unit ‘With Purpose’ Before Shooting Familia in the Head, Police Say
Alexander Bonds was seen on surveillance video walking up to the mobile command unit near E. 183rd St. and Creston Ave. about 12:30 a.m. before opening fire on Officer Miosotis Familia, the New York Daily News reports.
“Let’s be clear. This was nothing less than an assassination of a police officer. Our understanding is she was filling out her memo book and he walked out and fired one round,” a source told the Daily News.
Familia’s partner put out a frantic call on the police radio after the shooting.
“Shots fired,” the officer screamed into his radio.
He can then be heard yelling, “I need a f—–g bus! 10-85 10-85! My partner’s shot! My partner’s shot! My partner’s shot! Hurry up central!”
You can listen to the audio below:
Bonds was fatally shot after exchanging gunfire with officers after he fled the scene of the attack on Familia, CBS New York reports.
An anti-crime unit was in the area when the shots fired call went out and chased down Bonds, gunning him down. They found a handgun at the scene.
Another officer was hospitalized with unspecified injuries, authorities said.
A bystander was also shot, but is expected to survive.
“At first I thought they were fireworks,” Roma Martinez, a witness, told the New York Times. “I don’t know how many gunshots.”
Other neighbors said they were outside partying, enjoying the end of Fourth of July Festivities, when the shooting occurred. Another witness, Jay Marzelli, also thought he heard fireworks.
“I was in this bodega right here on Creston, just getting a sandwich and all of a sudden there was all this running and stuff going on and I look out probably 40, 50, 60 cops screaming, ‘Call a paramedic, clear the block!’” he told the Daily News. “It looked like there was a riot going on and two seconds later I hear gunshots, ‘bam, bam’ and then the police officer was just lying there in front of the stationary precinct — right here on Creston.”
Rondo Round told the New York Times, “This hood is not bad. We’re good people out here, just chilling and celebrating with fireworks. Yesterday was supposed to just be a holiday and a celebration.”
At a press conference, Mayor Bill De Blasio said, “The city was celebrating our Independence Day. One of those days we look forward to each year. The NYPD did an extraordinary job keeping our city safe … and tragedy struck.”
Police have said Familia was targeted and they do not believe Bonds knew her.
“Based on what we know right now, this was an unprovoked attack against police officers who want to keep this great city safe,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill told reporters at a press conference after Familia was pronounced dead about 3:30 a.m.
A line of police officers escorted Familia’s body from the hospital.
2. He Used Brass Knuckles to Assault a Police Officer in 2001 & Was on Parole After Serving 7 Years in Prison for Robbery
Bonds’ criminal record includes at least six arrests. In 2001, he was accused of using brass knuckles to assault a NYPD officer in Queens, the New York Post reports.
He was on parole under the name John Bonds, according to New York state records.
Bonds was released to supervision in May 2013 after serving seven years in prison for robbery in the Syracuse area, the New York Times reports.
He was on parole until 2018. He was also convicted of drug offenses prior to the robbery, records show.
3. He Wrote Anti-Police Facebook Posts & Claimed Officers Kill Inmates at the Jails He Was in, While Blaming the Deaths on Gangs
Bonds made several posts about police on his Facebook page in the past year.
In another post seemingly about police, in October, he wrote, “Its because they feel the above what they should which is the law but they are not the law SMFH.”
In September 2016, he posted a video titled “Mad as Hill,” in which he talked about police and his time in prison.
“Police man. Those that been up north know man, that police is f*ggots,” he said in the video. “Don’t think every brother, cousin, uncle you got that get killed in jail is because of a blood or crip or Latin King killing them. Nah, police be killing them and saying that an inmate killed them.”
In another part of the video, Bonds says, “I’m not playing, Mr. officer. I don’t care about 100 police watching this. … I got broken ribs for a reason, son, we gonna shake. We gonna do something. We can’t be dying for free, getting raped for free, just for them to give you hush money. Is you stupid? I don’t want the money. I want justice. … I’m not hesitating. It ain’t happening. I wasn’t a bitch in jail and I’m not going to be a bitch in these streets.”
You can watch the video below:
A few days earlier, Bonds shared a video of a police officer calling out “criminal cops,” and wrote, “That ain’t nothing new.”
He also shared a video of a police officer in Merced, California, stopping a teen on a bicycle that was posted by Media Takeout with the title, “Tiny Offcer Tries To BRUTALIZE Teen . . . And FAILS!!”
He wrote, “She don’t even know u fuxk u mean,” as the caption.
Bonds also posted several videos on his Facebook page showing him walking around New York City and listening to music. He also posted often about God, including in November, when he wrote, “WHAT a MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE! He is so worthy to be praised!”
On New Year’s Eve, Bonds wrote on Facebook, “Good morning everyone I want to thank God for see another year it ain’t been a easy ride when has it that’s what I respect the most. Just few years ago I was in the devil house I truly thank the man for his help and the people that was put in to my life to get it right…. Happy New year eve blessing to all be safe out here.”
He wrote in October, “Good morning world feeling bless to be black and only black meaning I’m born strong.”
In January, Bonds “liked” a Facebook page titled “Return Judy Clark to Our Community,” a group that supports the release of Judith Clark, a member of the Weather Underground convicted of felony murder in the 1981 Brink’s armored car robbery that left a security guard and two Nyack, New York, police officers dead. Governor Andrew Cuomo granted Clark clemency in December, moving her parole date up.
In November, just before Election Day, he shared a conspiracy video from Occupy Democrats that claimed voting machines were changing Hillary Clinton votes to Trump.
“Watch out also go vote our voices matter believe that if I could I kno u would,” he wrote.
In another post he wrote, “Please everyone take the time out to make yes make your Voice be heard go out there and vote please people this is something real do get mad when u going to have to go thru bull smh I know y’all see the realness of the situation so I urge u to do so thank u n God bless.”
He said he would vote for Clinton, but then appeared to be convinced to second guess that when a Trump-supporting friend replied to his post, writing, “Yea man he keep it real. Hillary husband kept us in chains for a long time. He the reason why they keep us felons and jailed he sign for 3 strikes your out. And keep ppl in jail for life for selling crack or ppl that get caught with ally of work and then apologize for it that in the future Hillary will fix it up.”
Bonds replied, “Understandable you have valid points darn I ain’t with that it should have real questions to ask that pertain to the people faxtz.”
4. Bonds Went by Several Names & Was a Drifter Who Lived in the Bronx, Queens & Syracuse
Bonds was at times homeless and a drifter, living at several addresses in the Bronx and Queens, along with shelters, the New York Post reports. He also lived in Syracuse at the time of his robbery arrest.
He has six other aliases, including John Bonds, the Daily News reports.
Bonds recently moved into an apartment with his girlfriend on Rev. James A. Polite Avenue in the Bronx, the New York Times reports.
“He didn’t talk,” Marta Perez, a neighbor, told the newspaper. “I saw him when he did food shopping with his girl. He was funny, strange funny — the way he looked at us. He played Spanish music all the time, but when he came outside he was funny-acting. Anytime he walked upstairs he wouldn’t say ‘Excuse me.'”
The head of the local police union said the shooting is a reminder of the need for the public to help alert officers to threats.
“This kind of violence against police officers cannot stand,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said at a press conference. “We need the public’s help. When you see someone that’s making threats, doing something against police officers, you need to let us know.”
5. Familia Was a 12-Year Veteran & the Mother of 3 Children
Officer Miosotis Familia was a 12-year veteran of the NYPD, the department said in a Facebook post. She was assigned to the anti-crime unit in the 46h Precinct, located in the Fordham Heights neighborhood of the Bronx, the NYPD said.
Familia was the mother of three children, who were rushed to the hospital to be at her bedside when she died, PIX 11 reports.
“She was on duty, serving this city, protecting people, doing what she believed in and doing the job she loved. After this sudden and shocking attack, her fellow officers came to her aid immediately,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“Police Officer Familia now joins the exclusive ranks of women who have heroically served and died in the line of duty,” PBA President Pat Lynch said. “We will keep her in our hearts and minds as we do all of the women and men who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the city.”