April 3, 2017, 11:50 AM
BY ESHA RAY, STEPHEN REX BROWN
The father of an NYPD cop killed in the line of duty in 2015 called the gunman “a beast” at his sentencing Monday.
Tyrone Howard, 32, remained expressionless as he was sentenced in a Manhattan courtroom packed with uniformed police officers to life in prison for the murder of rookie cop Randolph Holder.
Holder’s father, Randolph Holder Sr., addressed his son’s killer, saying “I’m still hurting.”
"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,” Holder said. “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."
The family was made up of three generations of police officers. The slain cop’s father and grandfather both were policemen in their native Guyana.
"My son was a very decent, well-disciplined man who left 2,000 miles away to come to the U.S. for a better life,” the dad said. “He always wanted to join the police force.”
Howard was on the run from a non-fatal shooting on E. 102nd St. on Oct. 20, 2015 when he encountered Holder and his partner Omar Wallace on the E. 120nd and FDR Drive footbridge, prosecutors said.
Howard, fearing he’d be arrested, pulled out a .40-caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol and fired, striking the rookie officer in the head.
Howard had an open warrant at the time of the killing for failing to show up to court. Police were looking for him after he’d not showed up to a second-chance drug diversion program.
At the time of the killing, the recidivist drug dealer had over 20 prior arrests — a record that outraged Mayor de Blasio at the time. He said Howard “should not have been on the streets.”
Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus noted that Howard had been given a chance to “turn things around.”
“Howard responded to that opportunity by failing to appear in court and committing a series of crimes that culminated in the tragedy of a murder of a New York City police officer,” Obus said.
"Defendant Howard has demonstrated that he only considers his own interests. He is an extremely dangerous individual that should be isolated from the rest of society."
Howard’s criminal record began when he was charged with drug possession at just 13 years old, Assistant District Attorney Linda Ford said.
"There is in the last 15 years, barely one time when he was at liberty for more than year without being arrested, violating parole, or reincarcerated," Ford said.
Ford urged the courtroom to remember the risk police officers face on a daily basis.
She said there was no doubt Howard deserved the harshest sentence possible in New York.
"Of this I am sure, Tyrone Howard will spend rest of his life in prison. He will never assault a cop or anyone else in this community. He will take his last dying breath with only inmates and correction officers accompanying him,” Ford said.
"At least Detective Randolph Holder was able to take his last breath in arms of comrades, hearing kind and assuring words as they raced to the hospital."