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Tyrone Howard indicted by grand jury in fatal shooting of Officer Randolph Holder

Tyrone Howard appears in Manhattan Criminal Court on

Tyrone Howard appears in Manhattan Criminal Court on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in New York City. Credit: AP

Tyrone Howard, the suspect in the fatal shooting of NYPD Officer Randolph Holder in East Harlem, was indicted Tuesday by a Manhattan grand jury.

The decision comes on the same day hundreds mourned the fallen officer at his wake.

The certificate of grand jury action filed indicated Howard was charged in Holder's death, but there was no list of charges, according to the Manhattan district attorney's office. The next court date is Nov. 24.

Police suspect Howard, 30, tossed a .40 caliber handgun into the East River after allegedly using it to shoot Holder, 33. Howard, an ex-con, is charged with one count of first-degree murder.

Critical evidence already in the hands of detectives includes an eyewitness account of the shooting from Holder's partner, Officer Omar Wallace.

Police said after Howard shot Holder, Wallace returned fire. A bullet struck Howard in the leg, officials said. In addition, cops have a description identifying the suspect from the man whose bike they said Howard took at gunpoint about last Tuesday night near 104th Street and the FDR promenade. Howard robbed the man after fleeing from an earlier shooting near the East River Houses, police said.

A gun found by NYPD divers in the Harlem River over the weekend has been identified through forensics testing as the one linked to the killing of Holder one week ago and a prior shooting that preceded his death, officials said Monday.

Chief of Department James P. O'Neill confirmed the gun was the one "sought by detectives in connection" with the killing. O'Neill also disclosed details of the painstaking search by divers who found the weapon at a special news conference.

He wouldn't elaborate on the kind of testing done to confirm that the Glock handgun found in some 20 feet of water about 3 a.m. Sunday was the weapon sought after almost five days of dives. But a law enforcement official indicated those tests included DNA analysis and mechanical comparisons with a previously recovered pistol magazine, as well as ballistic tests on spent shell casings found at an earlier shooting Howard is suspected of committing at 102nd Street in East Harlem.

The gun was recovered by Det. John Mortimer, who said he was on his stomach following a guideline when he spotted a "black firearm" about a foot away.

"I got it here," Mortimer remembered saying excitedly when he found the weapon.

The gun recovery helped buoy the mood of officers working the case as they prepared for the wake Tuesday and funeral Wednesday of Holder at Allen AME Cathedral in Jamaica.


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