Days after a gunman walked into the 41st Precinct station house on Longwood Ave. and began firing at officers, a second person allegedly planning another attack on NYPD officers was arrested, this time by federal agents.
The NY Post reported Friday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has arrested Armando Clemente-Ramos, an undocumented immigrant. He is expected to face charges of making unspecified threats toward NYPD officers, the paper said. Homeland Security officials could not be reached for comment.
The latest development comes after the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association (SBA), a police officer’s union that represents 23,810 NYPD officers, on Thursday tweeted a picture suggesting that a “credible threat” against NYPD officers existed in the wake of a shooting inside the 41st police precinct in Longwood.
The tweet included a screenshot with instructions to be distributed to all members of service (MOS in police parlance) and advised that stations have security posted at the front doors of their precinct houses.
“INVESTIGATIVE UNITS RECIEVED A CREDIBLE THREAT OF AN INDIVIDUAL THAT MAY ATTEMPT TO SHOOT A NYPD MOS, IN PARTICULAR A 41PCT MOS.” The tweeted screenshot of the email read. “ALL MOS ARE BEING ADVISED TO BE VIGILANT AND ALERT”
A police spokesman could only confirm that the department was aware of the tweet, but not whether officials believe a specific threat to police officers still exists.
Community leaders and police have been on edge following the two-day shooting spree that left two officers hospitalized and ended after the gunman opened fire in the 41st Precinct building on Feb. 9, then surrendered when he ran out of ammunition. Robert Williams, 45, has been charged with attempted murder, criminal weapon possession and resisting arrest.
Only 12 hours earlier, police said, Williams had fired into a marked police vehicle at the corner of Barretto and Simpson Streets, injuring an officer before the suspect fled.
Ralph Acevedo, the district manager for Community Board 2 where the shootings occurred, voiced concern that the delicate ties between the community and NYPD could be impacted by these threats.
“I just hope that the impact from this does not cause the relationship to deteriorate,” Acevedo said about the community relationship with the NYPD. “When you hear that a police officer gets shot, you don’t think about it happening in your neighborhood until it does.”
After freely walking through the front door of the police precinct, the alleged shooter opened fire on police, leaving some wondering whether the community has too much access to police buildings.
NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea indicated in a press conference following the second shooting that officials will be reviewing the policy on letting the public walk into precincts.
“We have to protect our officers in blue, and the civilians who work in the precincts, but we also want an engaging atmosphere,” Shea said. “People come into our precincts literally every day, throughout the day, 365 days a year, for a number of activities.”
The incident raises further questions about gun violence in the south Bronx, particularly in the Hunts Point and Longwood neighborhoods. Police said the vehicle that Williams had fired into was stationed there in response to ongoing drug and gun violence in the area.
In the wake of the shooting, Acevedo voiced hope that the police and members of the community will find a way to come together and become stronger than ever.
“We’ve come a very long way, but in this community, both black lives and blue lives matter to us.” He said.
The 41st Precinct Community Council will hold a unity prayer event on Feb. 18 to show solidarity with police officers at 6 p.m. at the station house at 1035 Longwood Ave.