Robert Williams has been identified as the suspect accused of opening fire on NYPD officers in the Bronx, according to The New York Post. As The Inquisitr previously detailed, the suspect entered a station house located on Longwood Avenue and opened fire, injuring a lieutenant — Jose Gautreaux — as a bullet caught the officer in the arm. Video footage of the attack has since been released, the brief clip showing an exchange of gunfire before a surrendering suspect slides his gun across the floor, seemingly subdued.
Police have taken Robert Williams into custody, and speculation continues to surround the possibility that Williams may be the same man responsible for a seemingly unprovoked attack against other NYPD officers on Saturday night.
Williams Surrendered After Running Out Of Bullets, According To Police
The @nypd is asking for the public’s assistance identifying the male depicted in these photos for questioning in regard to the shooting of a NYPD Police Officer in the area of Simpson Street and Barreto Street in the Bronx. pic.twitter.com/HeI5fOovfO
— Chief Rodney Harrison (@NYPDDetectives) February 9, 2020
Following a quick flurry of fire, Williams quickly splayed out on the floor, surrendering after having run out of bullets, per The New York Post. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea detailed Sunday morning’s events during a recent press briefing.
“He [the gunman] immediately pulls out a gun and fires multiple rounds towards the desk area. He then walks into an area beside that desk and fires several rounds… I will point out that this coward immediately lay down, but only after he ran out of bullets.”
According to a Twitter post coming from Shea, the weapon suspected to have been employed by the gunman has been taken into evidence as well — a black pistol marked as a SIG Sauer P229. In the caption attached to this piece of evidence, Shea once again referred to Williams as a “coward.”
Williams Was Convicted Of Attempted Murder In 2002
A second police officer was shot at in the Bronx this morning. Here’s video of the gunman walking into the 41st precinct and opening fire just blocks away from last night’s scene of a different police-involved shooting. Both officers are in stable condition. @News12BX pic.twitter.com/zbYoiAhhWA
— Michelle Arezou Ross (@MRossNews) February 9, 2020
Williams was known to police and has a lengthy criminal record. He has been arrested for “homicide and gun possession,” and he “just got out for a machine gun charge,” according to The New York Post.
Per ABC’s Eyewitness News, Williams’ documented history of violence spans nearly two decades, with the outlet referring to the suspected gunman as a “career criminal.” In 2002, Williams was arrested on charges of attempted murder, only being paroled in 2017. During that 2002 incident, Williams shot one victim, engaged in carjacking — the stolen vehicle eventually crashing — and finally participated in a shootout with law enforcement officers at the scene.
HORRIFYING VIDEO, shows the ambush on NYPD cops in the Bronx. pic.twitter.com/V6OKapfqh2
— New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) February 9, 2020
Williams is also suspected of being the assailant responsible for a Saturday night attack on two veteran NYPD officers who were sitting in a parked patrol van. Firing multiple rounds into the parked vehicle, Saturday night’s gunman wounded Officer Paul Stroffolino, who was at the wheel of the van at the time. Bullets grazed Stroffolino in the chin and neck in an attack which was described by Shea as an “attempted assassination.”
Video footage of the Saturday night attack captures a seemingly frantic shooter unsure of which way to run after having discharged his weapon into the police van. The gunman can be seen rounding a corner, turning, and then doubling back at high speed, sprinting down the road in the same direction the police van had traveled.
Stroffolino’s injuries were not considered to be life-threatening, and he was honored by his fellow officers after leaving the Lincoln Hospital — a video of which can be seen below.
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow officers at Lincoln Hospital for Officer Paul Straffolino after an attempted assassination on his life.
A reminder of the dangers Police Officers face daily. pic.twitter.com/a1OF5yQU95
— NYPD Bronx (@NYPDPBBronx) February 9, 2020