Baltimore Police Used Fax to Warn NYPD About Shooter

Vivienne Scott - Author

Dec. 21 2014, Updated 12:25 p.m. ET

Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the 28-year-old man who shot and killed two NYPD officers and then himself, was already on the lamb from Baltimore Police. The way police there warned police in New York City is under some scrutiny for being outdated and ineffective, though.

According to numerous reports and the official account of NYPD Chief William Bratton, the Baltimore Police warned the NYPD about Brinsley by sending a fax of a wanted flier with a warning about Brinsley. The warning included a note that he was likely on his way from Baltimore to New York City, according to CBS News New York.

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The man started his crime spree in Baltimore, Maryland, where he shot his ex-girlfriend. He ultimately returned to New York City where he was born and partially raised. Police said Sunday night that he was born in Brooklyn and spent much of his life going between Georgia and New York City, according to ABC7.

ABC7 also reported that according to the NYPD, the shooter told at least two people on the street to “watch what I’m going to do” right before he shot the police officers who were sitting in their police cruiser.

The wanted flier that Baltimore police sent to the NYPD and a number of other agencies included a warning about Brinsley after he shot his ex-girlfriend in the wee morning hours of Saturday. The faxed flier was received at almost exactly the same moment that the officers were shot.

Brinsley is believed to have gone from Baltimore to Brooklyn’s East Flatbush/Bedford-Stuyvesant areas because of his personal connections there. On Sunday evening police were still working to establish a timeline of events from when Brinsley first posted threatening messages on Instagram to when he shot police and them himself. A semi-automatic silver gun he used was recovered at the scene.

There are about 10 eyewitnesses and a number of videos of the scene at the shooting immediately before and after, according to NYPD’s chief of detectives. Some of the witnesses had been in the subway station, and saw Brinsely take his own life there.

According to Slate, Baltimore police also said that they warned the NYPD that Brinsley was found in Brooklyn by a trace put on his cell phone. There is some debate between the police in Baltimore and the police in New York City about when the warnings were sent and received. In addition to the faxed wanted poster, the Baltimore PD said they also used teletype machine to send a message.

Despite the somewhat archaic technology used, Baltimore police said they did warn the NYPD as soon as possible.

[Image via WikiHow]


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