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:
“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. Bonds Was Fatally Shot After Exchanging Gunfire With Officers
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.
3. 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.
Bonds recently moved into an apartment with his girlfriend on Rev. James A. Polite Avenue in the Bronx, the 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.’”
4. He Was a Drifter Who Made a Post Critical of Police on Social Media Prior to the Shooting,
Sources Told the Daily News
Bonds was homeless and a drifter, living at several addresses in the Bronx and Queens, along with shelters, the New York Post reports.
According to the New York Daily News, Bonds made a post critical of police on an unspecified social media site recently. He wrote that police in Oakland, California, were wrong to stop a boy riding a bicycle, a source told the newspaper.
He has six other aliases, including John Bonds, the Daily News reports.
“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.”