A Brooklyn man who nursed a hatred for NYPD officers who once arrested him was taken into custody Wednesday on charges he planted a crude bomb that killed a Queens man in August — an explosive allegedly left in the mistaken belief that a cop would be hurt, officials said.
Victor Kingsley, 37, was arrested by members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force at his home on East 43rd Street in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens section of Brooklyn on charges he planted the crude device that severely injured and killed George Wray, 73, according to the FBI and NYPD. Kingsley was charged with one count of using a weapon of mass destruction.
Wray suffered extensive burns from the July 28, 2017, explosion that occurred after he opened the package, about the size of cylindrical cereal container, he found on the porch of his home at 222nd Street in Jamaica. He died at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow on Aug. 1. Wray had no connection to the NYPD, police said.
“Kingsley’s cowardly act was meant to target a New York City Police Officer for doing his job and resulted in the tragic death of an unintended victim,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said in a prepared statement.
Police initially speculated that the explosive device might have been part of a gang dispute. But, according to the complaint filed in Brooklyn federal district court, Kingsley built the device to target an unnamed NYPD officer, as well as to retaliate against other officers who were part of a special conditions unit in the 67th Precinct. The unit, which patrols the neighborhood, arrested Kingsley in January 2014 on charges of weapons possession and disorderly conduct, the complaint stated.
Although the state court complaint was ultimately dismissed by a judge, Kingsley “methodically sought revenge against officers” and set about conducting internet searches and telephone calls to find out where various officers lived, Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said in a statement.
Kingsley fabricated the device from components purchased through Amazon and, after the July 2017 explosion, made additional purchases of the materials, something that has lead officials to believe that he was going to make another bomb, the complaint charged. He is slated to be arraigned Thursday.
Late Wednesday reporters saw police and agents remove materials from Kingsley’s home. A number of neighbors didn’t want to comment but Thomas Clea, 30, a student who lives on Eastern Parkway, was concerned.
“It’s scary,” said Clea. “He was definitely going to do something big if he had all those bombs in his house . . . It’s never really safe, you know. You’ve always got to be watching your back.”
With Ivan Pereira