According to witnesses, he walked up to the passenger side of the officers' car, assumed a firing stance, and shot each officer in the head before they could even draw their weapons.
The murder of these officers can only be called a tragedy. The families of these officers are devastated. Even when you know a loved one faces potential death each day, nothing prepares you to face what you've dreaded.
MSNBC is reporting the shooting as a protest act of terrorism in the name of Mike Brown and Eric Garner based on the following comments the killer made on his Instagram account:
"I'm Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours........Let's Take 2 of Tehirs #ShootThePolice #RIPErivGardner #RIPMikeBrown This May Be My Final Post. . . . I'm putting Pigs In A Blanket. (sic, words including punctuation and capitalization as written on his Instagram page.)
But Brinsley shot his former girlfriend first. Then he traveled from Baltimore to New York, shot the officers, fled the scene, and later shot himself. Something was going on in his life that made him this angry and mentally disturbed. I doubt it was the police. If you'll notice, he doesn't even spell Eric Garner's name correctly. Also, what's up with his capitalization of every word in his post? Something was not right with Brinsley.
As I said on Twitter, it sounds like he was a ticking time bomb.
In many ways, today's tragedy reminds me of the Gabby Giffords shooting in which other people died. Already some people on the right are pointing fingers at political leaders, such as Al Sharpton and Mayor DeBlasio, saying they caused the shooting. If not them, then the media, such as MSNBC, essentially any entity questioning police behavior and tactics.
Today #MSNBC murdered 2 #NYPD officers by inciting the shooter to do it with relentless lies about cops being racist murderers.I recall that some people on the left tried to blame the Giffords shooting on Sarah Palin. I have certainly spent more than my share of time critiquing Palin's rhetoric, but the left wasn't correct when it blamed her specifically for the Arizona massacre, and neither are these people on right now who are blaming various progressive leaders. Loughner was a fuse waiting for a match and so was Brinsley.
— Patrick Dollard (@PatDollard) December 21, 2014
The protests that have been happening around the country asking for justice in the cases of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and countless others who've died by way police overreach are not to blame for Brinsley's horrific deed either. No person who seeks justice wants dead police officers.
May these officers' families eventually find ways to cope with their loss and know peace again.