NEW YORK - A gunman shot dead two New York City police officers in what officials called an "assassination", hours after warning on social media that he planned an attack in retribution for recent US police killings of unarmed black men.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday ordered flags flown at half staff around the city, hours after the city's main police union harshly criticized the city's first Democratic mayor in two decades for being insufficiently supportive of the department during recent waves of anti-police violence.
The shooter, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Abdula Brinsley, traveled from Baltimore, where police said he had shot and wounded his girlfriend, to New York and during the day posted on the social media service Instagram that he would be "putting wings on pigs today," using an anti-police slur.
Baltimore police said they learned of the suspect's posts on Saturday afternoon and called NYPD officials to alert them that digital data showed he had traveled to the city's borough of Brooklyn. But the call came in less than an hour before officials said Brinsley, who was black, shot and killed two officers as they sat in their patrol car near a major housing project.
The officers he killed were Hispanic and Asian-American.