A female NYPD officer died after being shot in the face Wednesday morning in the Bronx while sitting in her marked police vehicle with her partner, the police department said.
“Police Officer Miosotis Familia has been assassinated in an unprovoked attack on cops assigned to keep NYers safe,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement. “Keep her family in your prayers.”
A man walked up to the police vehicle at 183rd Street and Morris Avenue about 12:30 a.m. and fired one shot from a handgun, hitting the 12-year veteran, O’Neill said. Her partner radioed for help, he said.
Before the shooting, the man was seen going into a bodega, exiting, pulling up his hoodie and then walking over to the police vehicle, officials said.
— Commissioner O'Neill (@NYPDONeill) July 5, 2017
Familia, 48, and her partner were sitting in what is called “a command vehicle” — which is about the size of a motor home and is meant to be a visible presence in a neighborhood, police said.
Police said the vehicle had been in the area since March because of gang-related shootings.
The fleeing man, later identified as Alexander Bonds, 34, of the Bronx, encountered a uniformed police sergeant and a uniformed officer about a block away, and the man drew a revolver, O’Neill said.
“The officers fired at him, striking and killing him,” the commissioner said. “A silver revolver was recovered at the scene.”
A bystander was hospitalized in stable condition after being struck by a bullet during the encounter with Bonds, O’Neill said.
Police said later that Bonds was on parole from a robbery conviction in Syracuse in May 2013. Corrections records indicate he was also known as “John” Bonds.
The police commissioner and Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at a news conference at St. Barnabas Hospital, where the wounded officer died. The mayor said he and the commissioner met with the officer’s family.
Kim Jamie, 45, a Bronx native who has lived in the neighborhood for the past year, said she heard the shot but assumed they were fireworks.
“You can’t distinguish the fireworks from the shooting,” Jamie said.
As Jamie passed uniformed officers at the corner of 182nd Street and Morris Avenue, she said to them: “Sorry for your loss.”
Patrick Lynch, president of Familia’s union, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said she “stood tall against those who threaten and terrorize the good folks of the Bronx.”
“Police Officer Miosotis Familia, the mother of three, gave her life protecting a neighborhood that had been plagued by gun violence,” Lynch said.
Police said they knew of no connection between the suspect and the officer.
A number of unprovoked attacks on police officers in recent years have raised concerns.
Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot and killed in their patrol car in Brooklyn in December 2014 by a man with a history of mental illness.
Two months earlier, Officer Kenneth Healey, a recent graduate of the Police Academy, was standing with other officers on the street in Queens when they were attacked by a man with a hatchet.
Officers shot and killed the man, but Healey suffered a severe head injury from a blow by the hatchet and did not return to work for almost three years.
Familia was the 866th New York City police officer to die in the line of duty.
The most recent NYPD officer to die from gunshots was Det. Steven McDonald of Malverne, who died in January from the effects of wounds from a shooting in Central Park 31 years earlier.
Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo of Huntington was shot and killed in the Bronx on Nov. 4, 2016.
Records show other female New York City officers who died in the line of duty — not including on 9/11 or from 9/11-related illnesses — were NYPD Officer Milagros Johnson, fatally shot by robbers in 1992 in Brooklyn while she was off-duty, and Transit Police Officer Irma Lozada, shot and killed in 1984 while trying to arrest a robbery suspect.