In Brief

Gunman who killed two NYPD officers sent 'chilling' warning

Ismaaiyl Brinsley boasted that he was 'putting wings on pigs' before he shot dead two officers

Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the gunman who killed two police officers in New York on the weekend, boasted of his plans to murder officers in revenge for the killing of two black men, Eric Garner and Michael Brown, by police earlier this year.

Brinsley, 28, shot and wounded his girlfriend on Saturday before posting a series of "chilling" messages on Instagram, reports the Daily Telegraph. "I'm Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours, Let's Take 2 of Theirs," he wrote, making reference to the deaths of Garner and Brown.

Police in Baltimore county sent a warning to the New York Police Department based on the messages, but it came just five minutes before the two officers were shot.

Officers Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32, were sitting in a marked patrol car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood of Brooklyn when Brinsley walked up behind them and fired four shots through the closed front passenger window.

Liu had married his wife just three months ago and had been a police officer for seven years. Ramos, who leaves behind a 13-year-old son, had been in the force for almost three years.

Bill Bratton, New York's police commissioner, said the two men were "simply assassinated".

The gunman fled into a local subway station and shot himself in the head as armed police closed in.

"Officer Ramos and Officer Liu never had time to draw their weapons," said Bratton. "They may have also never had time to see their assailant."

According to the New York Times, Brinsley had suffered from "mental problems". Police said he had a "troubled childhood", was "often violent" and had tried to kill himself last year. He had been arrested at least 19 times in Georgia and Ohio and had spent two years in prison for gun possession.

He reportedly told passers-by to "watch what I'm going to do" just before he shot the two police officers.

The family of Eric Garner, who died after being held in a chokehold by police, condemned the killings and denounced any revenge attacks.

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