April 3, 2017
By MARK TOOR
Before he was sentenced to life without parole April 3 for the murder of Police Officer Randolph Holder Jr., career criminal Tyrone Howard was described as a “beast” by his victim’s father.
“I can’t explain the feeling that I have. I just don’t want to call his name, it’s so bad. I just want to call him a beast,” said Randolph Holder Sr., who like his own father was a police officer in his native Guyana. “He shouldn’t be on the streets. I think he should put away for life and throw away the keys so he can never see daylight again.”
Assembled Cops Applaud
The courtroom was packed with dozens of police officers who stood and applauded as Mr. Howard was led away in handcuffs.
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch led the police response. Standing alongside the senior Mr. Holder, he called the shooting “an attack on all of society.”
Praising the sentencing judge, Michael Obus, he said, “We thank him for giving this jackal life without parole so he can never hurt another person on our streets again.”
Mr. Howard, 32, was convicted last month of first-degree murder and other charges in the death of Officer Holder in October 2015.
The defendant was on a stolen bicycle, fleeing the scene of a shooting in an East Harlem housing project, when he encountered Officer Holder, 33, and his partner, Omar Wallace, on a footbridge on East 120th St. The cops, who were in plainclothes but displaying their badges, were looking for those involved in the shooting.
‘Pulled Gun and Fired’
“We started to walk toward him, and he decided to pull a gun outside his sweater,” Officer Wallace testified at the ¬trial. “He fired a shot, and that first shot hit Officer Holder in the right side of the head, and he fell immediately.”
Officer Wallace returned fire, wounding Mr. Howard in the buttocks. He was arrested four blocks away.
A prosecutor in an unrelated narcotics case described Mr. Howard as a “one-man crime wave.” He had been arrested more than 20 times on charges involving narcotics, firearms and assault.
When he killed Officer Holder, he was in a diversion program on the narcotics charge. But the NYPD was looking for him as a fugitive because he had skipped counseling appointments.
Officer Holder was a five-year veteran of the NYPD assigned to the Housing Bureau. Following NYPD practice for officers killed in the line of duty who leave behind dependents, he was posthumously promoted to Detective First Grade.