One of New York City’s finest returned home to Warwick Sunday to recover after being released from the hospital following an assassination attempt while on duty.
New York City Police Department Officer Paul Stroffolino was shot in the neck and chin at approximately 8:27 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, while sitting inside a marked NYPD van in front of 906 Simpson Street in the 41 Precinct, according to the department.
He was treated for his injuries at Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx and flashed a thumbs up to his fellow officers who gathered to see him released on Sunday.
According to the department, Robert Williams, 45, of 1135 Evergreen Avenue in the Bronx, approached Stroffolino and his partner and allegedly shot at the officers when they struck up a conversation with him.
Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard said that while the incident is “terrible,” he’s thankful that Stroffolino survived the shooting.
“I don’t know him at all, but he’s a Warwickian and each and every one is important to us,” Newhard said. “I’m just grateful that he’s back and he’s home and he’s healing.”
The scenic natural beauty of Warwick makes it an ideal place to heal, the mayor said, whether the wounds are physical or psychological.
“The important thing is to recognize him as a very brave citizen and one that we really send our love to,” he said.
Police also allege that Williams walked into the 41st Precinct station house on Longwood Avenue just before 8 a.m. on Sunday and fired multiple rounds at uniformed service members, as well as a civilian member of NYPD.
In the chaos, Lt. Jose Gautreaux was shot once through the upper left arm.
After he ran out of bullets, Williams allegedly immediately lay down and was taken into custody, the department said.
He was later charged with 27 counts of attempted murder, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of resisting arrest.
The charges reflect both incidents, the department said.
Both Stroffolino and Gautreaux are expected to make full recoveries.
With a lengthy violent criminal history that includes carjacking and a 2002 gunfight with NYPD officers, Williams was convicted of attempted murder and was paroled in 2017.
Police are examining the 9 mm Sig Sauer firearm used in the incident at the precinct station house to determine if it was also used during the attempt on Stroffolino’s life.
“It’s only by the grace of God that we’re not planning a funeral,” Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea said.
The important thing is to recognize him as a very brave citizen and one that we really send our love to.”
- Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard