The widow of a New York City police officer shot to death more than 30 years ago had a question after the killer was granted parole yesterday: “What the hell were they thinking?,” reports the New York Daily News. Stephen Gilroy, 29, was shot in the head during a 1973 robbery in 1973 after Shu’aib Raheem and three other men stormed a sporting-goods store. Several hostages were wounded in the 47-hour standoff. Authorities never figured out who fired the fatal shot, but Raheem was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life.
“Parole should never be an option for Shu’aib Raheem or anyone who murders a police officer,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. “Paroling [Gilroy’s] killer is an affront to his memory and undermines society at large.” The parole board voted 2 to 1 to free Raheem. Raheem, 60, was granted parole in 2007, but the vote was overturned when one board member changed her mind amid protests from top New York police officials, officers who survived the robbery, and Gilroy’s family. “Every New York City police officer is outraged,” said Pat Lynch, head of the Policeman’s Benevolent Association.