The gun used to kill a New York City police officer in East Harlem belonged to an ex-South Carolina state trooper who had reported the weapon stolen from his vehicle in 2011, four months after he had gotten it back from another theft, the New York Post reports.
New York City police detectives traveled to South Carolina last week to interview former trooper Roderick Hughes about how his old service weapon ended up in the hands of the criminal who ended up killing Police Officer Randolph Holder last month.
Hughes, who became part of the South Carolina Highway Patrol in 2003, had been issued a .40-caliber Glock Model 22 in June. He carried that gun until he turned it in and was issued another gun as part of a departmentwide upgrade.The South Carolina Department of Public Safety sold the old guns to the Lawmen's Safety Supply Store in Columbia, S.C., and troopers were given the option to buy back their old guns for personal use, the news site notes.
Hughes, it notes, took the opportunity and bought back his old gun in February 2008. Approximately five months later, Hughes reported that his gun had been stolen from his vehicle. It was later retrieved following an unrelated drug raid in September 2009.
By October 2009, Hughes had been fired for taking money and a flat-screen TV as payment for selling his car, even though he owed money on a loan against the vehicle's title, the New York Post reports. Hughes had gone so far as to approach the person who bought his car while he was on duty and in uniform. Officials called his behavior "unacceptable, unprofessional and embarrassing to the department."
In June 2011 Hughes went to the Mullins, S.C., police headquarters and got his Model 22 back after signing a receipt. However, in October of that year, four months later, he again said that it was stolen, this time by someone who broke into his truck.
The next time the gun showed up was Oct. 25 of this year, when an NYPD diver retrieved it from the Harlem River, where alleged killer Tyrone Howard tossed it after shooting Holder.
Holder was fatally wounded Oct. 20 following the pursuit of a suspect in a bike theft.
Read more at the New York Post.