Cop murdered in Harlem has family roots in Far Rockaway

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A plainclothes NYPD officer who was shot to death while on duty in Manhattan Tuesday night has ties to Far Rockaway, according to reports.

P.O. Randolph Holder, 33, of the NYPD Housing Bureau PSA 5 was fatally shot while responding with fellow officers to reports of shots fired in the area of East 102nd Street and First Avenue in Harlem at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Holder died nearly two hours later at a nearby hospital.

According to published reports, Holder lived in Brooklyn but originally emigrated from Guyana with his father to Far Rockaway, where his relatives remain. Officers from across the city visited the Far Rockaway home Wednesday morning to offer their condolences.

Citing eyewitness accounts, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Holder and fellow officers learned that a male victim had his bike stolen by one of a group of suspects who were seen fleeing along a footpath from the Harlem intersection toward the FDR Drive. The officers went over to a footbridge above the drive, where they encountered a male suspect on a bicycle.

Seconds after the encounter, Bratton noted, the suspect and officers traded shots, during which Holder — a five-year veteran of the NYPD — was shot in the head. He died at 10:22 p.m. while undergoing treatment at Harlem Hospital.

“His father was a police officer in Guyana, and his grandfather was also a police officer in Guyana,” Bratton said of Holder. “So three generations of police in this family, and now the latest generation served here with us in the New York City Police Department, and tonight did what every other officer in the NYPD does when the call comes — he ran toward danger. It was the last time he will respond to that call.”

The suspect — whose identity has yet to be announced by police — took a bullet to his leg following a brief foot pursuit; he was taken into custody and treated at Cornell Medical Center. Three other male suspects connected to the crime remain at large, the commissioner said.

Holder is the fourth NYPD officer killed in the line of duty in the last 11 months. Last December, Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were gunned down while on patrol in Brooklyn; more than 20,000 people attended Ramos’ funeral in Glendale. Then in May, P.O. Brian Moore of the 105th Precinct was fatally shot while on patrol in Queens Village.

Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered city flags lowered at half-staff Wednesday in Holder’s memory. He and other lawmakers across the city offered words of sympathy and condolences to the officer’s family.

“Our feeling of grief and sorrow is only made greater by the fact that Officer Randolph Holder was a son of Far Rockaway,” Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder said in a statement Wednesday. “In dedicating his life to the service of others, Officer Holder exemplified the best of our community and served as a guiding light for all. Today, I join families in Rockaway and across the city in mourning this senseless murder.”


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