Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the 28-year-old gunman that ambushed and murdered a pair of officers from the New York Police Department, has a long list of run-ins with the authorities. He had been under arrest in Georgia for 15 times and in Ohio for four times for a variety of crimes.
Brinsley's mother even told the authorities that she was scared of her son, who often acted violently after a troubled childhood.
Brinsley approached the two officers while they were sitting in a marked NYPD car on Saturday afternoon. Brinsley went to the vehicle's passenger window and opened fire at the two officers in the car, namely Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
According to Robert Boyce, the New York City Chief of Detectives, before the incident, Brinsley talked with two people. Brinsley asked the people he met on the street if they were affiliated with any gangs and urged them to follow his Instagram account. Brinsley then told them to "watch what I'm going to do."
Through social media posts, Brinsley expressed his anger against the government of the United States.
"I'm putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours, let's take 2 of theirs," the gunman posted on Instagram a few hours before the incident. Brinsley also used the hashtags #Shootthepolice, #RIPErivGardner (sic) and #RIPMikeBrown on the post, which included a picture of a silver gun and the chilling words of "This may be my final post."
The authorities are investigating whether Brinsley took part in the protests against the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, or if the gunman simply included the cause in his final violent act.
After killing the pair of police officers, Brinsley escaped to a subway station located nearby. At the station, he took his own life by shooting himself in his head as the door of the subway train filled with people is closing.
According to Boyce, the gunman's mother thought that Brinsley had mental problems that could have gone undiagnosed. Officials said that Brinsley attempted to commit suicide a year ago.
Before coming to New York on a Bolt bus, Brinsley shot his ex-girlfriend in an apartment complex in Maryland. The woman, 29-year-old Shaneka Nicole Thompson, was wounded with a shot to the abdomen, and is still in critical but stable condition.
Brinsley's murder of the police officers is the latest chapter in increased tensions against police officers for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, both of whom are black. The two individuals died after confrontations with white police officers.