NYPD officer fatally shot in head in East Harlem; suspect in custody

EAST HARLEM, NY -- An NYPD officer was fatally shot in the head in East Harlem Tuesday night.

Officer Randolph Holder, 33, was rushed to Harlem Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:22 p.m.

"He is the fourth New York City police officer murdered in this city in the last 11 months," Police Commissioner William Bratton said during a press conference at Harlem hospital where Holder was pronounced dead Tuesday night. "That's about as bad as it gets.

Dozens of Holder's fellow officers stood outside the hospital early Wednesday morning and saluted as the ambulance carrying their fallen comrade left. Afterward, many embraced one another.

Holder was responding to a report of a shooting near 102nd Street around 8:30 p.m. He approached a group standing near an FDR Drive footbridge. There was an extended chase of one of the members of the group, who was on a bicycle. In an exchange of gunfire near East 120 Street, the officer was shot in the head.

During an ensuing search another injured person, believed to be suspect, was found shot at East 125th Street. Three other men were taken into custody around 111th Street just before 9 p.m. and are being questioned.

The suspect was shot in the leg and taken to New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. A weapon was recovered, and the bicycle he was riding was also recovered.

Bratton said the suspect was expected to be released from a hospital early Wednesday and transferred to police custody. The suspect was not identified.

Holder was assigned to PSA 5, which polices the city's public housing developments. He was a five-year veteran and native of Guyana. His father and grandfather both were police officers in Guyana, Bratton said.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton called the officer an "extraordinary individual" and said in a news conference that his heart broke for his father, also a former police officer who served in Guyana. The victim's grandfather was also a police officer in Guyana.

"Our hearts are heavy and we offer our thoughts and prayers to his family who are experiencing unimaginable pain as we saw when we met with them earlier this evening," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

"Say a prayer that this family will get through this emptiness that they will always have," said Pat Lynch, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. "New York City police officers everyday go out and carry themselves like superheroes but the reality is when we're attacked we bleed, when we bleed we die and when we die we cry."

Other officials tweeted their condolences:

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