Shooter gets 23 years to life for ambushing New York City police twice in 12 hours, wounding 2

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FILE -New York City police officers work the scene of a police involved shooting outside the 41st precinct Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in New York. A gunman who ambushed police in New York City twice in 12 hours, wounding two officers, has been sentenced to 23 years to life in prison, Friday, Oct. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

NEW YORK – A shooter who ambushed New York City police twice in 12 hours, wounding two officers, has been sentenced to 23 years to life in prison.

Robert Williams, 47, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of attempted murder of a police officer in the February 2020 shootings in the Bronx.

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But he said during his sentencing Friday that he didn't have deadly intent.

“I apologize to my family, the precinct and the cop. I wasn't trying to kill nobody," Williams said, asserting that police had beaten and used a stun gun on him in the past. Prosecutors have said Williams told investigators after his arrest that he was “tired” of police.

Bronx Judge Ralph Fabrizio was unmoved.

"Your actions are inexcusable," the judge told Williams on Friday.

On the night of Feb. 8, 2020, Williams walked up to a marked police van on a Bronx street, asked officers for directions and then fired into the van at them, wounding Sgt. Paul Stroffolino in the chin and neck, prosecutors said. Williams then ran off.

The next morning, Williams went into a Bronx police station and started shooting, hitting Lt. Jose Gautreaux in the arm and narrowly missing other police personnel before running out of bullets, according to prosecutors. They said police shot at Williams, who then laid down and tossed his pistol.

The injured officers survived. Stroffolino attended the sentencing but left it to his partner, Sgt. Brian Hanlon, to describe what they went through.

“I still carry the vivid image of my partner holding his neck and blood all over the front of his uniform,” Hanlon said.

“The one thing we fear the most and what families especially feel the most — a coward walking up to the car and opening fire. Someone who I’ve never met once in my life, someone who knows nothing about me," he said, and told Williams: “I hope you wake up miserable every single day.”

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