The suspect charged with fatally shooting a woman inside a Bohemia motel and then firing at Suffolk County police was working to become an NYPD officer, his attorney said Sunday.
Stoker Olukotun Williams, 24, of Bay Shore, was ordered held without bail during his arraignment on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder in the Saturday morning attack, police said. His lawyer entered a not guilty plea.
Olukotun Williams, a driver for Frito Lay, had completed 60 credits of criminal justice courses at Suffolk County Community College and recently passed the test to become a police officer, attorney Joseph A. Hanshe of Sayville told the court.
"He was on the list to be examined medically" for the NYPD, Hanshe said after the arraignment. " . . . Much has got to be investigated before anything is resolved on this case."
Olukotun Williams has no police record, Hanshe said.
An NYPD spokesman said Sunday that he could not confirm whether Williams had taken the police exam and referred questions to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, which administers the test. A spokeswoman for the department did not reply to a request for information.
Fifth Precinct officers responded to a 4:50 a.m. call about shots fired at the MacArthur Inn, 4444 Veterans Memorial Hwy. When the officers went to the room and knocked, a man opened the door and started firing at them with a handgun, police said.
The officers ducked behind cars and returned fire, police said. Police later entered the room and found Shalece Cunningham, 24, shot in the head. Two female acquaintances of Cunningham also were in the room, but they were unharmed, police said.
"We believe there was criminal activity going on in that room," Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, homicide unit commander, said on Saturday without elaborating. Police had no new information Sunday.
The motel, which advertises "day rates" and "mirrored rooms," is about a mile from Long Island MacArthur Airport.
Olukotun Williams did not have a room at the motel, said a woman who identified herself as a motel employee but did not want to be named. Cunningham and the other women had been at the motel for "a couple days," according to the employee.
Shalece Cunningham's mother was overcome with grief Sunday. "She is my only daughter. I have two sons and just her," said Alvina Cunningham of Bay Shore, crying and gasping for breath as she spoke in a telephone interview. "She was studying and she was going to go into the child care course and go to Suffolk [County Community College]."
Alvina Cunningham said she did not know Williams. Shalece Cunningham attended Bay Shore schools and lived at home with her mother and father, Alvina Cunningham said.
She said she last spoke with her daughter on Tuesday. "I had given her a few dollars because her father's birthday was this Wednesday," she said, noting that her own birthday was later this month. "So we're trying to figure out how to bury our child in between our birthdays."
With Nicole Fuller