Two uniformed NYPD officers ambushed and killed

TWO police officers were shot and killed in New York on Saturday after a man with a gun ambushed their patrol car before killing himself. It comes at a time of widespread public anger directed at police in the US after the failure to prosecute officers for their alleged role in a flurry of deaths of black suspects.

Reports said the attack on the officers took place shortly before 3pm in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn. The gunman, who was not immediately named, then ran into the entrance of a subway station where he shot himself in the head.

"It looks like they were shot in the upper body," Kim Royster, a senior officer with the New York Police Department, told reporters.

The New York Times said emergency teams received a call at 2.50pm, reporting that two people had been shot. It emerged that the two uniformed officers had been sitting in their marked car when the gunman, said to have come from the city of Baltimore, approached them.

Charlie Hu, the manager of an off licence near the scene of the shooting, said he had seen two police officers slouched over in the front seat of their patrol car. At least one of the officers, Mr Hu said, appeared to have been shot in the head.

There was no official word on what may have been the motive for the attack. However, US media pointed out that the ambush came at at time when police forces across the country had been the focus of criticism over incidents relating to the deaths of black suspects and the apparent lack of action taken over the deaths.

In recent days, New York has seen daily demonstrations from protesters angry over a decision not to prosecute an officer who put an unarmed black suspect in a so-called choke-hold, a move that killed the man, Eric Garner. Protesters have carried placards based on the last words said to have been uttered by Mr Garner - 'I can't breathe'.

The move not to prosecute the man who had placed Mr Garner in the choke-hold followed soon on the heels of a decision by a Missouri grand jury not to indict a white officer in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old.

Reports said the last officer killed by gunfire in the line of duty was Peter Figoski, who lost his life in 2011. Mr Figoski was responding to a report of a break-in at a Brooklyn apartment. He was shot in the face and killed by one of the suspects hiding in a side room when officers arrived.

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