NEW YORK (AP) — Divers searching the Harlem River recovered a gun “consistent” with the weapon used to kill a police officer during a foot chase in Manhattan, the New York Police Department said Sunday.
Chief of Manhattan detectives William Aubry said the weapon was found around 3 a.m. Sunday. The gun will be tested for fingerprints and DNA, as well as test fired, to determine whether it is the same .40-caliber Glock pistol used to shoot Officer Randolph Holder in the head.
“That firearm is consistent with the firearm that we were looking for,” Aubry said.
The police also shut down part of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive on Manhattan’s East Side — the area of the shooting — for a few hours Sunday morning as they conducted a ground search. About 100 police officers volunteered to do the work, especially aimed at finding the fatal bullet.
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Holder and his partner had responded to a report of shots fired near a public housing development in East Harlem on Tuesday night. When they arrived, a man said his bike had been stolen at gunpoint and the thief fled.
The officers caught up to a man with a bike on a pedestrian overpass that spans FDR Drive and traded gunfire, police said. After Holder was shot, the gunman ditched the bike and took off, apparently throwing his weapon into the river, police said. He was caught several blocks away with a gunshot wound to his leg, New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said.
Shell cases from the test firing would be compared with discharged cases police recovered on 120th Street next to Holder’s body — in addition to the cases at 102nd Street where the first shots were fired, Aubry said.
The chief of detectives said the searches were a “24/7 operation” since the night of the shooting.
He said the scuba team’s work was “very difficult.” The gun was under 20 feet of water and “they’re on their belly and they’re searching for it by hand.”
Tyrone Howard, 30, has been charged with murder and robbery in Holder’s death. His lawyer has said there are many missing details in the case.
Holder’s funeral is scheduled for Wednesday. He is to be buried in his native Guyana.
This story has been corrected to show the name of the police officer killed is Randolph Holder, not Rudolph Holder.
This story has been corrected to show the gun was recovered from the Harlem River, not the East River.