Early yesterday, Alexander Bonds was walking down a street in the Bronx when he pulled out a gun and fired through the window of a police truck, killing an officer sitting in the passenger seat, Miosotis Familia. He was then shot and killed by police. After a lifetime of trouble, Bonds had finally seemed to have everything under control, the New York Times reports. At 34, he had left New York City’s shelter system and moved into his own apartment. He had a girlfriend, and a job at a fast-food restaurant. His five-year stint on parole was almost up, and he had not had a run-in with the police in years.
New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Familia was “assassinated without warning,” and the shooting evoked comparisons with attacks on police officers in Dallas, Baton Rouge and Brooklyn, where two and a half years ago a man killed two officers as they sat in their car. Bonds had spoken passionately on Facebook about abuses he suffered in prison and appeared to express anti-police sentiments, while delving into his long battle with mental health issues. As investigators work to determine a motive, they will certainly focus on circumstances that led to what relatives described as a mental breakdown Bonds suffered in June. He checked into a hospital, but in New York, mental health services typically will not provide inpatient treatment for more than a few days unless it can be proved that patients present an immediate threat to themselves or other people. Bonds had been given diagnoses of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and had been hospitalized on and off for years.