Staten Island Advance
updated October 21, 2015 at 11:35 AM

Union head: Death should mark 'new day of respect' for cops

MANHATTAN — The president of a police union is asking New Yorkers to remember the officer gunned down in the line of duty.

Patrick Lynch of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association is urging the public to keep the family, friends and colleagues of Officer Randolph Holder in their thoughts and prayers.

Lynch says he wants Holder's death to mark "a new day of respect and appreciation for the men and women who stand between violent crime and the good people of New York."

Holder, 33, a five-year veteran with the police department, was struck in the head as he and other cops working in Police Service Area 5 chased the perp, who was riding a stolen bicycle along a pedestrian overpass on the FDR Drive at East 120th Street in Manhattan, Bratton said at a press conference early Wednesday.

The chase began near East 102nd Street after police responded to reports of shots fired at around 8:30 p.m., Bratton said.  

When officers caught up with the assailant, there was an exchange of gunfire, and Holder took a bullet to the head, Bratton said.

The suspected shooter continued to flee on foot along the FDR promenade, but police apprehended him on 124th Street, Bratton said. He sustained gunshot wounds to his leg, and was transported to Cornell Medical Center, Bratton said.

Holder was rushed to Harlem Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:22 p.m., according to authorities.

Residents in the neighborhood where the officer was fatally shot say they often feel unsafe there, particularly at night.

Monica Amolina works at PS 78. She said Wednesday that she "always walks fast" in the neighborhood because she's worried about gang activity.

Juliette Torres just moved to the neighborhood two weeks ago. She says she feels unsafe walking her dog at night because of the people hanging out on the street.

But resident Stephon Clarette calls it a "good neighborhood" and says "outsiders" are "trying to tear it up."

Parents walking their kids to school Wednesday had to make their way around police blockades.

-- Advance material was used in this report.