Robert Williams appearing in Bronx Criminal Court today. Photo: James Messerschmidt
Accused cop-shooter Robert Williams flashed a grin as he left a Bronx court after an appearance Friday — as dozens of NYPD officers glared at him.
Minutes earlier, Williams — who faces attempted-murder charges for allegedly attacking two NYPD officers in less than a day — was frowning as a judge set a date for his arraignment on his indictment.
But the suspect, in orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, flashed his family a smile after a relative proclaimed, “We love you, Robert!” as he walked out of the Bronx Supreme courtroom.
More than 50 police officers filled the courtroom to show support for their wounded brothers in blue, who escaped death during Williams’ alleged attacks last weekend.
On Feb. 8, Williams, 45, fired shots into a marked NYPD van near the corner of Simpson and Fox streets in The Bronx, grazing the neck and chin of an officer inside, authorities have said.
Less than 12 hours later, he opened fire at the 41st Precinct station house with a 9mm SIG Sauer pistol, striking a lieutenant in the upper left arm before running out of ammo and surrendering, police allege.
On Thursday, some police sources suggested there was doubt over whether Williams was responsible for both shootings after it emerged that someone else had made another threat against police.
But a high-ranking law-enforcement source told The Post investigators now firmly believe that the same gun was used in both shootings and that Williams is the one who fired it in each instance.
About a dozen of Williams’ friends and family members filled two rows of the courtroom for Friday’s hearing, sitting across from the police officers, including Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch.
Williams’ relatives claim he went off the rails when his son was killed during accidental gunplay two years ago.
But Lynch told reporters Friday, “Many people — citizens, police officers alike — deal with tragedies in their lives . . . They don’t go out and try to assassinate police officers.
“We say [Williams] should get treatment . . . He should get that treatment behind bars.’’
Williams’ next court date is scheduled for March 6.
His family declined to comment after the hearing.