Wall Street Journal

April 3, 2017 1:50 p.m.


Man Sentenced to Life in Shooting Death of NYPD Officer

Tyrone Howard was convicted last month of killing Officer Randolph Holder in East Harlem in 2015

By CORINNE RAMEY

Tyrone Howard, convicted in the killing of a New York Police Department Officer Randolph Holder, appeared in court during his sentencing in New York on Monday. PHOTO: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

A man convicted of killing a New York Police Department officer in East Harlem was sentenced to life in prison on Monday.

Tyrone Howard, 32 years old, was convicted last month by a New York State Supreme Court jury of aggravated murder, first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and other charges in the shooting death of NYPD Officer Randolph Holder.

“Life in prison is the most severe sentence a defendant can receive in New York state—it is fully warranted in this case,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement. “Detective Randolph Holder was murdered in the line of duty by a young man with an illegal firearm.”

An attorney for Mr. Howard declined to comment.

“The strengthened relationship and open dialogue between the CCRB and NYPD has helped hold officers accountable for their actions and given the public a deserved voice at the table,” the spokesman said Sunday.

Randolph Holder Sr., father of slain NYPD Officer Randolph Holder, gave the thumbs-up as he arrived for Tyrone Howard's sentencing in Manhattan on Monday. PHOTO:BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

Mr. Holder’s father, Randolph Holder Sr., said Mr. Howard “should be sent away and never see the light of day.” He said parents should “take care of your kids” and teach them discipline and manners so they can be respectful to police.

On the evening of Oct. 20, 2015, Mr. Howard went on what Mr. Vance described as a “one-man crime spree” beginning on East 102nd Street in Harlem. Prosecutors said he fired multiple shots at a group of people, then ran north onto a path along the East River. He then stole a man’s bicycle at gunpoint and rode along the path, they said.

Around 120th Street, Officer Holder and his partner, who were responding to the earlier shooting, ran into Mr. Howard, according to prosecutors. Mr. Howard shot Officer Holder once in the temple, prosecutors said.

Officer Holder, who died at a hospital that evening, was posthumously promoted to detective.

The case received additional attention because Mr. Howard had been arrested in 2014 during a drug bust and was allowed to enter a court-sponsored diversion program for treatment. Mr. Howard, who had a lengthy arrest record at the time, initially complied with the program then failed to show up for drug testing and a court appearance, officials said.

Write to Corinne Ramey at Corinne.Ramey@wsj.com