Authorities: Cop killer is career criminal

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Authorities say a career criminal accused of killing a New York City police officer had been arrested last year and freed from jail as part of a diversion program.

Police also say 30-year-old Tyrone Howard was wanted in connection with another shooting last month.

Police Commissioner William Bratton said Wednesday that Howard had shown an increasing level of violence. Bratton says he shouldn't have been on the streets.

Bratton says, "If ever there was a candidate not to be diverted, it would be this guy."

Howard is accused of fatally shooting Officer Randolph Holder Tuesday night.

He was charged last year with criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Howard is in police custody and it isn't clear whether he has a lawyer who could comment on the allegations.

NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill said investigators suspected Howard shot at a member of the East Army gang on Sept. 1. He says police had been trying to arrest Howard but could not find him.

The chief says Howard didn't show up at his court appearances and wasn't home when investigators went there.

Holder was shot in the head Tuesday evening as he responded to calls of shots fired and a stolen bicycle at gunpoint. Holder and his partner chased the suspect, who opened fire.

Police say Howard was wounded in the leg and captured a few blocks away. He is in police custody Wednesday, and it isn't clear yet whether he has a lawyer to represent him.

Three others who had been questioned were released.