Detectives' Endowment Association, Inc. — Paul DiGiacomo, President

The DEA Honor Roll

Official Line of Duty Deaths

Randolph A. Holder

Rank: Detective, first grade

Shield Number: 9657

Command: Housing PSA #5

Date of Death: 10/20/2015

Cause of Death: Shot while approaching subject

At approximately 8:30 p.m. on October 20, 2015, P.O. Randolph Holder and P.O. Omar Wallace, both of Police Service Area #5, responded to the radio call of shots fired near an apartment building on East 102nd Street, between FDR Drive and First Avenue in the confines of the 23rd Precinct.  The Officers spotted the perp who had hijacked a bike on the Promenade around the East 120th Street footbridge. Wallace recognized the punk as a troublemaker he had summonsed a year earlier for drinking and urinating in public. The perp, Tyrone Howard, a 32-year-old “East Army” gangbanger, dismounted the stolen bike, turned towards the Officers, pulled his weapon and fired one shot, striking Officer Holder through his temple. Wallace was able to squeeze off a few shots, one of which hit the perp in the thigh, but the wily criminal managed to flee, tossing first the magazine, and then his weapon into the Harlem River. Wallace broadcast a detailed description of the incident over the radio while rendering assistance to his fallen partner. Holder was rushed by ESU van to Harlem Hospital, his partner at his side, but tragically, the 33-year-old Officer expired.

His killer, nicknamed Peanut, was a PCP-using, career criminal with more than two dozen priors. He was a known subject to the area Officers since the age of 13. With a 16-year rap sheet and violent offenses on his resume, the Police Commissioner called him “a poster boy” for a justice system gone awry.

Randolph Holder had followed his father and his grandfather into policing. The native of Georgetown, Guyana in the Caribbean emigrated to the United States in 2002, after his mother’s death, to be closer to his father and his siblings who had moved to New York City. His first job was as a security officer where he encountered several NYPD retirees who talked glowingly about the force and their impact on the communities they served. Holder, who believed he could really “make a difference” and “become a role model,” fulfilled his life’s ambition when he was appointed to the New York Police Department on July 6, 2010. His colleagues at PSA #5 called him by his nicknamed “Doc.” He was the man they came to for advice and opinion. There was nothing he would not do for a friend, but his favorite enjoyment was when he could serve as deejay for his family’s social gatherings.

On October 28, 2015, an estimated crowd of 20,000 police colleagues from around the world attended his funeral service at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral in Jamaica, Queens. Police Commissioner Bratton posthumously promoted the big-hearted, gentlemanly, and quiet Officer to first grade Detective, the rank Holder was hoping to achieve during his lifetime. He was presented with a gold shield that bore the number his father wore: 9657. Holder’s family, including his father, his stepmother, and his fiancé, survived him. Det. Holder was buried in his native Guyana.

On March 6, 2017, Tyrone Howard was convicted of Aggravated Murder in the First Degree, Murder in the First Degree, Robbery in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon, and Reckless Endangerment, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Among the posthumous honors bestowed on Det. Holder include the August 2017 street renaming of the corner of Briar Place and Collier Avenue in Far Rockaway, Queens to “Detective Randolph Holder Way.” On June 7, 2018, an NYPD Mounted Unit horse was named in his honor.

Read the article “Death of Randolph Holder, New York Officer, Reverberates Across Continents,” New York Times, October 22, 2015.

NY Times 10-21-2015 Holder

Read “The Cold, Dark Search for the Gun That Killed Officer Randolph Holder,” by Reeves Wiedeman, published in Popular Mechanics, May 2016.

Popular Mechanics Holder May 2016 Scuba

Click on the pdf file link below to read the DEA Detectives of the Month story, April 2017, published in The Gold Shield magazine, spring/summer 2018.

Holder The Gold Shield Spring Summer 2018 DOM




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