Brooklyn Police Shooting suspect Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, planned to kill police as retaliation for the killings by police of Eric Garner in New York City and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, sources told the Associated Press late Saturday.
— Renee Stoll (@ReneeStollABC7) December 20, 2014
While details on the killer — who reportedly committed suicide in a subway station a short distance from the Brooklyn streetcorner where he gunned down Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu — are still sketchy as of Saturday night, it appears that Brinsley, 28, may have been a gang member based in Baltimore, though his last known address was in Georgia.
Brinsley also has a long criminal record including weapons charges, robbery and disorderly conduct.
According to some reports, Brinsley drove to New York City from Baltimore with the express purpose of hunting police officers and killing them. He was inside the Tompkins Houses at Myrtle and Tompkins Avenues in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood when he spotted Ramos and Liu in their police car.
“The perp came out of the houses, walked up behind the car and lit them up,” a police official described, as quoted by The New York Daily News.
Brinsley is also believed to have shot a person in Baltimore before departing for New York City. While some reports identified that person as Brinsley’s girlfriend, others said simply that the Baltimore victim was a family member of Brinsley’s.
But it was Brinsley’s social media postings that provide the most disturbing insight into the suspect’s motives.
In his final posting on the photo-sharing site Instagram, the now-deceased Brooklyn police shooting suspect wrote, “I’m putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours, let’s take 2 of theirs.”
The text accompanied a photo of what appears to be a semi-automatic handgun.
He added the hashtags, “#ShootThePolice #RIPErivGarner #RIPMike Brown. Finally, Brinsley concluded the Instagram post on a chilling note.
“This May Be My Final Post…I’m Putting Pigs In A Blanket.”
Sometime later, he pumped multiple bullets into the cruiser containing Officers Ramos and Liu.
Baltimore police noticed that Brinsley had posted messages online threatening police officers and, according to an AP report, sent a warning to the New York City police. But the warning arrived around the same time the officers were shot.
New York City Police Chief William Bratton said that the officers were “shot and killed with no warning, no provocation. They were quite simply, assassinated.”
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) December 20, 2014
Of the two officers killed by Ismaaiyl Brinsley in the Brooklyn police shooting, Ramos had the longer term of service, with seven years on the force. He was a married dad of a 13-year-old son. Liu was recently married and had served on the police force for two years.