iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — An on-duty New York City police officer was killed early Wednesday after a man walked up to her patrol vehicle and fired shots through the window, authorities said.
Officer Miosotis Familia, a 12-year veteran assigned to the New York City Police Department’s 46th Precinct’s Anti-Crime unit, was taken to a Bronx hospital where she was pronounced dead at 3:37 a.m. ET. She was 48 years old, according to police sources.
At a press conference Wednesday morning, New York City Police Department Commissioner James P. O’Neill said Familia had been shot in the head in an “unprovoked attack” while sitting with her partner in a marked police command vehicle on the corner of Morris Avenue and East 183 Street around 12:30 a.m. ET. O’Neill told reporters the vehicle had been parked there since March due to increased gang activity in the area.
Familia’s partner radioed for assistance, while other uniformed officers chased after the suspect, who took off on foot. As the officers confronted the suspect, he drew a revolver and the officers shot and killed him, according to O’Neill.
He added that police recovered a silver revolver from the scene.
Another person, believed to be an innocent bystander, was struck by a bullet during the encounter. The individual was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, according to O’Neill.
Familia’s partner was not injured in the attack.
“It is clear this was an unprovoked attack on police officers who were assigned to keep the people of this great city safe,” O’Neill told reporters at Saint Barnabas Hospital, where Familia was transported. “She was sitting in the vehicle and he came up and fired a round into the vehicle. I don’t know if anything else could be more unprovoked than that.”
The police commissioner noted that the area where the shooting took place has been troubled by gun violence and gang activity.
O’Neill later wrote on his verified Twitter account that Familia was “assassinated.”
Police sources told ABC News that surveillance footage recovered from the scene show the suspect “purposefully” walking up to the command vehicle and firing through the passenger’s side window. Familia was writing in her memo book at the time, indicating she may not have seen the suspect approach the vehicle, the sources said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press secretary said the mayor had been briefed on the matter and visited the hospital where the officer was taken.
Patrick J. Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association in New York City, urged the public to be on the lookout for anti-police activity in the area.
“This kind of violence against police officers cannot stand. We need the public’s help,” Lynch said at Wednesday’s press conference. “When you see someone that’s making threats, doing something against police officers, you need to let us know. You need to be our eyes and ears.”
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