Two NYPD officers have died of gunshot wounds sustained this afternoon in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, Gothamist reports. After fleeing to a nearby subway station, the gunman fatally shot himself in the head, according to the AP.
Details of the double murder and suicide are still trickling out, but it appears as if the killer revealed his intentions on Instagram before acting. The account vanished in the course of reporting this article, though some of its final posts were captured in screenshots.
“I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today,” reads the caption on a close-up photo of a handgun. “They Take 1 Of Ours … Let’s Take 2 Of Theirs.” The caption on an image of bloodied camouflage pants reads, “Never Had A Hot Gun On Your Waist And Blood On Your Shoe.”
Wow, this is supposedly from the Brooklyn gunman's Instagram who shot the two police officers in Brooklyn. pic.twitter.com/9PWdHW7Enm
— TC (@tchopstl_) December 20, 2014
One more post followed, likely written by a friend or family member of the shooter. It remarked that he had been himself to the end, and alluded to a gang affiliation with the Crips. There and on previous posts, including video of a street musician, users commented in disbelief, though some mocked the suspected gunman as a failure. Rumors also connected him to the shooting of a woman in Baltimore early this morning.
— deacon_blue (@sngldadnthecity) December 20, 2014
— April (@ReignOfApril) December 20, 2014
The Instagram account linked to a YouTube video. It’s a song by Brooklyn rapper Muller St-Cyr called “Right Now,” and it was uploaded about two weeks ago. The producer credited is Uninamise. It’s unclear what relationship—if any—the pair had with the account owner.
A Facebook account turned up as well—the name on it is “Bleau Barracuda.” Various rappers and New York sports teams are listed in the Likes section of the page, while the timeline includes cryptic posts that may hint at what was to come. (The same man also had a Myspace account.)
Internet sleuthing has produced a few other possible connections: an older Instagram account, a close friend, and a small business. Early on Saturday evening, police released the man’s age and identity: Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, 28. A mugshot search revealed prior arrests, dating back to 2005, for disorderly conduct, shoplifting, and carrying a concealed weapon.
Wow, I know more about the guy who allegedly killed the two Brooklyn cops in less than 2 hours than we knew for months about Darren Wilson.
— TC (@tchopstl_) December 20, 2014
The grisly crime comes at a moment of national tension over police tactics that have resulted in the deaths of unarmed black men, so it’s not inconceivable that it was intended as revenge, especially given that Brinsley mentioned Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Even as today’s horrific unfolded, protesters were shutting down highways and malls across the country.
Meanwhile, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York—the largest NYPD union—issued a stark declaration of war:
Starting IMMEDIATELY- At least two units are to respond to EVERY call, no matter the condition or severity, no matter what type of job is pending, or what the opinion of the patrol supervisor happens to be. IN ADDITION: Absolutely NO enforcement action in the form of arrests and or summonses is to be taken unless absolutely necessary and an individual MUST be placed under arrest. These are precautions that were taken in the 1970’s when Police Officers were ambushed and executed on a regular basis. The mayors hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a “wartime” police department. We will act accordingly.
Dell Cameron contributed reporting to this article.