Antonio Lavance Williams, 27, is the man police say shot and killed New York Police Officer Brian Mulkeen in the Bronx in the early morning hours Sunday, New York media reports. Williams last address was in Binghamton, New York.
Police said Williams was on probation for drug charges until 2022. Armed with a.32-caliber revolver, Williams struggled with Mulkeen who had tried to question Williams when he took off running. Officers pursued Williams and a “violent struggle” ensued. Mulkeen is heard saying twice on body worn camera footage that the suspect was going for a gun.
Initially, police said there were five shots fired. Mulkeen was struck three times. He was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx where he was pronounced dead. The New York Daily News reported Sunday that Williams’ gun was not fired and police believe the man took and used Mulkeen’s own weapon in the killing.
Monday, the New York Post reported police said Mulkeen was struck by “friendly fire.”
“This is a tragic case of friendly fire, but make no mistake we lost the life of a courageous public servant solely due to a violent criminal who put the lives of the police and all the people we serve in jeopardy,” the Post quoted the police commissioner as saying. The Post reported that two of the 10 rounds fired from officer’s guns killed Mulkeen, shots that rang out for 10 seconds.
Williams, born in 1992, has an adult criminal history dating back to 2011 according to reports and records.
Mulkeen, 33, was serving on an anti-crime unit dedicated to preventing gang violence.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Williams Has a Criminal History That Includes Drugs & Burglary Charges & Convictions
Williams was recently arrested in Binghamton, in upstate New York, on a harassment charge. He was released and was due back in court next week. According to online court records, Williams was arrested by Binghamton City Police on Aug. 15, arraigned the same day in city court and was released.
According to Rockland County court records, Williams was convicted of second-degree burglary following an April 2011 arrest in Haverstraw. He was sentenced to serve three years and six months in prison. According to state records, he began serving his sentence in January of 2012 and was paroled in March of 2015.
Williams received a probation sentence for a 2018 drug arrest in Endicott, New York. And in January, he was arrested in Binghamton for petty larceny and possession of a forged instrument. He paid a $100 fine.
The Daily News reported, citing sources, that there was an active warrant out for his arrest for failing to appear in court for a summons he got in Hudson in May.
2. Williams Was on Probation Until 2022 on Drug Charges When Police Said he Shot & Killed Mulkeen, a Former Fordham Track & Field Standout
Brian Mulkeen of Yorktown Heights, New York served as an officer of the New York Police Department for almost seven years when the 33-year-old was shot and killed in the early morning hours Sunday in the Bronx in a struggle with Willaims, police said.
Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said Mulkeen killed “while doing the courageous work NYers needed him to do…There is no worse a moment in our profession than this…”
At around 12:30 a.m., Mulkeen and other members of the NYPD’s Bronx Borough Anti-Crime Unit out of the 47th NYPD precinct, were patrolling the streets around the Edenwald Houses on East 222nd Drive North near Laconia Avenue in the Edenwald neighborhood in the Wakefield section of the north Bronx. The anti-crime officers were in the area police said due to recent gang activity including shootings.
Three police officers got out of their vehicle to “question a man,” police said, and the man took off with officers giving chase. Mulkeen and his partner tried to apprehend the person and a “violent struggle on the ground began” On body worn camera, Mulkeen can be heard yelling, “he’s reaching for it. He’s reaching for it.” Numerous shots were fired, police said, and Mulkeen was “struck three times.” Five officers fired on the suspect who was pronounced dead on the scene. A .32-caliber revolver was “recovered by police.” The New York Daily News reported that police believe Mulkeen was shot with his own weapon, seized by the 6-foot 270-pound suspect Williams.
Mulkeen, critically injured, was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center were he was pronounced dead.
“As cops, we know who rewarding our profession can be, but I’ll tell you, there’s absolutely no worse moment on our job than this,” NYPD Chief of Police Terrance A. Monahan said.
Late Sunday morning, the Fordham University Track & Field program noted Mulkeen’s history with the program as it mourned his passing.
The Fordham Track & Field program is sadden to hear that Bronx police officer and former Fordham track & field performer Brian Mulkeen (GSB ’08) passed away early Sunday morning, after being shot in the line of duty. Our deepest condolences go out to Brian’s family, his fellow officers in the 47th Precinct, and his former teammates.
A nearly seven-year veteran of the NYPD serving with the anti-crime unit in the 47th Precinct, Mulkeen was 33 years old.
Mulkeen had recently made the decision to re-join his alma mater as a volunteer throwing coach, alongside his former teammate, head coach Brian Horowitz.
Competing from 2004-08, Mulkeen was a two-year field captain for Fordham. He was a multiple-time scorer at the Atlantic 10 Championship in the weight throw for indoor track and the hammer throw for outdoor track, as well as a multiple-time IC4A Championship qualifier in the weight throw. His best finish came his senior year, earning a bronze medal at the 2008 Atlantic 10 Indoor Track & Field Championship in the weight throw. A member of the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, he was also helped the Rams win the 2008 Metropolitan Outdoor Track & Field Championship for the first time in program history.
3. Just 33, Mulkeen Was Hailed as a ‘Great Cop’ by NYPD Police Chief. Flags Ordered at Half Staff
Monahan called Mulkeen a hero.
“Police Officer Brian Mulkeen was a great cop who gave it all to keep the people of our city safe. He was 33-years-old with a bright future in front of him. We will #NeverForget Brian’s service, dedication, and courage. Please keep his family and all of the NYPD in your prayers.”
Appointed Jan. 9, 2013, Mulkeen had served nearly seven years as an NYPD officer. Mulkeen lived with his girlfriend in Yorktown. Police said she is also a cop in the 44th precinct in the Bronx.
Police Commissioner O’Neill said in a tweet Sunday that Mulkeen “Brian was always dedicated to keeping NYC safe. In fact, just last night he arrested a man in possession of a gun in the very same precinct where he would later be killed this morning. It’s heroic cops like him, across our nation, who refuse to allow violence & disorder to rule.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Last night we lost someone who was by every measure a hero. NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen dedicated nearly seven years of his life to protecting the city he loved. Please join me in keeping his family, friends and brothers and sisters in uniform in your prayers today.”
The Mayor’s Office ordered flags to be flown at half-staff.
“In honor of NYPD Police Officer Brian Mulkeen, who lost his life in the line of duty, all flags shall be lowered to half-staff, beginning immediately …a notice will follow as to when flags will resume full staff position.”
The NY Police and Fire Widows’& Children’s Benefit Fund, also known as Answer the Call, will provide Officer Mulkeen’s family with $25,000 to assist with any immediate expenses, according to a press release.
“We send our deepest condolences to Officer Brian Mulkeen’s family and the entire NYPD Community.” said Lauren Profeta, executive director of Answer the Call. “Answer the Call vows to honor Officer Mulkeen by helping those he loved the most – his family. His bravery, heroism, and service to our city will never be forgotten.”
4. From Yorktown Heights in Westchester County, Just North of the Bronx, Mulkeen Worked in an NYPD Bronx Anti-Crime Unit
“We’ve been here to often. We know the directions to get here. It has to stop.”
Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, which represents over 50,000 active and retired New York City Police Officers, said, “When soulless individuals carry guns in struggles with police, it devastates all of us.”
Lynch said, “…but we can’t take that devastation away but we have to come together to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Mulkeen was part of the an anti-crime unit in the Bronx, focused on reducing gang violence.
A post from the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association said that Mulkeen “Died saving lives, defending those less fortunate and taking many guns off NYC streets.”
It’s reported that the anti-crime team had taken more than 50 guns off Bronx streets since the beginning of 2019.
“Rest In Peace our Hero. Job well done.”
Westchester County officials have ordered flags to be flown at half-staff and offered “prayers and support” for Mulkeen’s family and loved ones.
5. Tributes From Family, Friends, Colleagues & Police From Around the Country Have been Pouring In
“Don’t know what to say, my heart is broken. It wasn’t your time and I wish I could have saved you. I know that you know how much we loved you. Nothing will ever be the same but I promise we will carry on your spirit. Mulkeen always had a smile on, was always excited to hit the street, and couldn’t have been a better person or cop,” FDNY firefighter Bryan Mayhon wrote on Facebook.
“It crushes me to think that I wont see you playing the guitar as background noise in the office or rallying the troops to hit the street when were feeling lazy. I try to find comfort knowing you passed doing what you loved, but the team and the world losing you just doesn’t seem fair.”
“I love you bro. Show Mulkeen going to heaven with 1 #bronxunitsup”
A friend of Mulkeen’s wrote on Facebook, “My heart hurts hearing this news this morning. Brian was one of the nicest guys you could have met. Rest easy brother.”
On that same post, a person who went to high school with Mulkeen said, “…he was a sweet heart.”
“Woke up this morning, strapped on my bullet resistant vest, wrapped my gun belt around my waist and have every intention on making it back home to my family after work,” tweeted JW Cortes.
“NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen had the same hope. Sadly that didn’t happen and now we mourn the 33-yr-old Bronx cop.”
Harris County Texas Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, whose department just suffered the tragic loss of Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, the “hero” and “trailblazer,” was shot and killed Friday outside of Houston during a traffic stop, shared his condolences.
“Terrible news. Overnight, @NYPDnews Police Officer Brian Mulkeen made the ultimate sacrifice and gave his life protecting his city. On behalf of @HCSOTexas, we offer condolences to his family, his precinct and the entire NYPD.”
From Chicago, Philadelphia, Fort Worth, Los Angeles and across the country, tributes came in.
And, as noted by NYPD Holy Name, a New York police religious organization founded in 1914, Sunday Sept. 29 is a holy day in homage of the patron saint of police officers.
“On this Feast Day of Saint Michael the Archangel, Powerful Patron of Police Officers, we ask you to protect all officers both on and off duty and in a special way welcome one of our own PO Brian Mulkeen into your Heavenly Army. Rest in the comfort of God’s Peace #FidelisAdMortem.”