BRONX, N.Y. (WTXF) - A police officer was shot to death early Wednesday, ambushed inside a command post RV by an ex-convict who had ranted online about his treatment in prison and about police getting away with killing people, authorities said. The gunman was killed by officers about a block away.
Miosotis Familia, a 12-year member of the New York Police Department, was writing in her notebook in the front seat when the gunman strode up to the vehicle in a Bronx neighborhood around 12:30 a.m. and fired one round through the passenger-side window, striking her in the head, authorities said.
"PO Miosotis Familia has been assassinated in an unprovoked attack on cops assigned to keep NYers safe," Police Commissioner James O'Neill tweeted.
Her partner radioed frantically for help, and police caught up to 34-year-old Alexander Bonds, who was gunned down after pulling a revolver, police said. A bystander was hit in the abdomen by a bullet and was in stable condition.
Witness Jay Marzelli told the Daily News said he was getting a sandwich at a bodega and thought the shots were Fourth of July fireworks at first.
"All of a sudden there was all this running and stuff going on, and I look out, probably 40, 50, 60 cops screaming, `Call a paramedic, clear the block!"' he said. "It looked like there was a riot going on, and two seconds later I hear gunshots, `Bam, bam."'
Familia, 48, had been stationed in the mobile command post, which is used during major events and in high-crime areas. She had been writing in her memo book, in which officers record their shift activity, when Bonds walked up.
Bonds, who also went by the name John Bonds, was sentenced to six years in Attica prison on an armed robbery case in Syracuse and had been paroled in 2013. He had other prior arrests, including one in 2001, when as a 15-year-old he was accused of attacking an officer with brass knuckles.
In a video posted on Facebook in September, the Bronx man ranted about the treatment of civilians by officers and talked about how hard life was behind bars.
"Don't think every brother, cousin, uncle you got that get killed in jail is because of a Blood or Crip or Latin King killing them. Nah, police be killing them and saying that an inmate killed them," he said in the video.
At another point, he said into the camera: "I'm not playing, Mr. Officer. I don't care about 100 police watching this." And: "It's time for people to rise up."
Aside from the police rant, Bonds' Facebook page mostly consisted of inspirational quotes and quizzes.
Police said they were trying to identify the motive for the shooting.
While tensions have been running high between police and black people around the country, there was no immediate indication the killing had a racial dimension. Bonds was black; Familia was Dominican. She apparently had no previous contact with him.
The shooting recalled the 2014 ambush killings of two New York City officers who shot in their cruiser by a man who approached the passenger window. The gunman, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, then killed himself.
Brinsley had announced online in the moments before the shooting that he was planning to shoot two "pigs" in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner.
In the latest shooting, Bonds was captured on video leaving a convenience store, then moving tightly along the wall, pulling his hoodie over his head and walking purposefully toward the van. The video doesn't capture the shooting but shows him running from the scene with a gun in his hand, police said.
Familia, a mother of three, including a set of twins, spent her entire NYPD career in the Bronx precinct, where she worked the midnight shift. The command post had been set up since March, following a triple shooting, and was manned around the clock.
"She was on duty serving this city, protecting people, doing what she believed in and doing the job she loved," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the hospital before Familia died. "And after this shocking and sudden attack, her fellow officers came to her aid immediately."
Officers stood at attention and saluted as an ambulance carrying Familia's body left the hospital.
This is an Associated Press look at other cases of ambushed police officers:
Nov. 2, 2016
A white man with a history of racial provocations and confrontations with police ambushed and fatally shot two white officers in separate attacks as they sat in their patrol cars in suburban Des Moines. Scott Michael Greene pleaded guilty last month in the deaths Urbandale Officer Justin Martin, 24, and Des Moines Sgt. Anthony Beminio, 38. He was sentenced to consecutive life prison terms.
July 7, 2016
A gunman in Dallas opened fire on police officers working at a protest of back-to-back killings of black men by police in Minnesota and Louisiana. The attacker, Micah Johnson, killed five officers and wounded nine others and two civilians before police killed him with a robot-delivered bomb when negotiations failed. Authorities say Johnson, who was black, told negotiators he wanted to kill as many white police officers as he could. It was the deadliest day for American law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.
Dec. 28, 2015
Officer Guarionex Candelario Rivera showed up unannounced at his police station in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and fatally shot three fellow officers. Candelario, a 19-year police veteran, killed Lt. Luz Soto Segarra, Cmdr. Frank Roman Rodriguez and policewoman Rosario Hernandez De Hoyos. Candelario was shot twice but survived.
May 9, 2015
Two Hattiesburg, Mississippi, police officers, Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate, were shot to death during a traffic stop. Three suspects were later arrested.
Dec. 20, 2014
Two New York City police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were ambushed and shot to death in their vehicle without warning by a man who approached the passenger window of their marked police car. The suspect, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, then fatally shot himself. Brinsley was black; the officers were Asian and Hispanic. In the moments leading up to the attack, Brinsley posted online he wanted to kill "pigs" in retaliation for the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man killed by police.
Sept. 12, 2014
A survivalist ambushed two Pennsylvania state troopers outside a police barracks late at night, killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass. Suspect Eric Frein led authorities on a 48-day manhunt through the heavily wooded Pocono Mountains before U.S. marshals captured him at an abandoned airplane hangar. He has pleaded not guilty.
June 8, 2014
A man and a woman ambushed two police officers eating lunch at a Las Vegas pizza restaurant, fatally shooting them before fleeing to a nearby Wal-Mart, where they killed a third person and then themselves in an apparent suicide pact. Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo died.
Aug. 28, 2010
Two police officers were ambushed in the tiny Alaskan village of Hoonah before a SWAT team and dozens of other officers surrounded a house where the gunman took refuge. Officers Tony Wallace and Matt Tokuoka died after the shooting. Hoonah resident John Marvin Jr. was captured and charged in the deaths.
May 20, 2010
Two West Memphis, Arkansas, police officers doing anti-drug work were shot to death by two men wielding AK-47s along a busy Arkansas interstate. Sgt. Brandon Paudert and Officer Bill Evans died at a nearby hospital. The suspects were later killed in a shootout that injured the local sheriff and a deputy at a crowded Wal-Mart parking lot.
Nov. 29, 2009
Four police officers were shot and killed in an ambush in a coffee shop in Lakewood, Washington, by ex-convict Maurice Clemmons. The killed officers were Mark Renninger, Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold and Greg Richards. Clemmons was shot and killed by police after a two-day manhunt.
Jan. 13, 1998
University of Nevada, Reno Police Sgt. George Sullivan was ambushed and attacked with a hatchet while doing paperwork in his squad car. Siaosi Vanisi was later convicted and sentenced to death for Sullivan's slaying. Witnesses testified that Vanisi stalked Sullivan after repeatedly telling friends and relatives he wanted to kill a police officer.
Dec. 31, 1972, and Jan. 7, 1973
Mark James Essex, a member of the Black Panthers who was discharged from the Navy for going AWOL, killed nine people in New Orleans, including five police officers, in two sniper attacks. Essex was shot more than 200 times by police sharpshooters Jan. 7. Authorities said the walls of his apartment were covered in anti-white graffiti.
April 6, 1970
Career criminals Bobby Davis and Jack Twinning killed four California state troopers in a four-minute gunbattle in Los Angeles County. Twinning killed himself when authorities surrounded a house where he was holding a hostage; Davis was soon arrested and, almost three decades later, killed himself at Kern State Prison.
Oct. 30, 1950
Members of a nationalist party seeking to overthrow the government of Puerto Rico shot and killed eight police officers in San Juan, including Chief Aurelio Miranda-Rivera. The revolt was put down by the U.S. military, the FBI and the CIA.
Jan. 2, 1932
Six officers from two Missouri agencies were killed as they surrounded a house where two suspects wanted in the murder of a Greene County marshal were holed up. The suspects fled to Texas and killed themselves when authorities tracked them down.