THE BRONX — Hours before a man ambushed an NYPD officer sitting in a marked vehicle and opened fire, police sources say his girlfriend called 911 reporting he was schizophrenic and acting erratically.
Alexander Bonds, the man accused of fatally shooting Officer Miosotis Familia shortly after the Fourth of July holiday came to an end, had a violent history and vented his anger about police in a Facebook video last September.
Rambling that law officers got away with killing and abusing people, he warned them to leave him alone or "we gonna do something."
"I'm not playing, Mr. Officer. I don't care about 100 police watching this," the 34-year-old said in a Facebook page otherwise filled largely with inspirational quotes and quizzes.
"It's time for people to wisen up," he added.
He had been released in 2013 after being sentenced to eight years in prison for a 2005 armed robbery in Syracuse, and was on parole until 2018.
Bonds, also known as John Bonds, had other arrests, including one in 2001, when as a teenager he was accused of attacking an officer with brass knuckles.
While he railed in his video about how inmates are treated behind bars, prison records show he had been written up more than two dozen times for disciplinary reasons — mostly for relatively minor infractions, but sometimes for top-level violations such as assaulting an inmate or fighting.
After his recent stint in prison, Bonds checked himself into a hospital, his sister told the New York Times.
Details surrounding his stay are not known, but his aunt, Nancy Kearse, tells the Times he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
More recently, those who knew Bonds told the Times he was taking control of his life, but something changed on the Fourth of July.
Around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, his girlfriend called 911, saying her schizophrenic boyfriend was acting erratically, left his apartment and was in need of help, a senior law enforcement source told PIX11.
The girlfriend followed Bonds, calling 911 multiple times saying he was "acting erratically" and “paranoid,” Chief Robert Boyce said Thursday.
Bonds was "a little off," but unarmed and harmless, the girlfriend allegedly said.
Every time EMS neared Bonds, his girlfriend said he would hide, Boyce said.
She eventually lost sight of Bonds entirely and took a cab home, apparently unaware of his whereabouts until police later contacted her, following Familia's death. In subsequent interviews, she told investigators Bonds had been paranoid for about two weeks that police and EMS were following him.
Hours after Bonds and his girlfriend parted ways, he was caught on video leaving a convenience store, then moving tightly along the wall, pulling a hoodie over his head and walking purposefully toward the command post vehicle with gloved hands, according to police.
He then fired into the RV-like command post where Familia sat around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. She never saw Bonds coming before he shot her in the head through the passenger-side window, killing her.
Video didn't capture the shooting itself, but showed him running away with a gun in his hand, police said.
Familia's partner frantically radioed for help, and officers caught up with Bonds about a block away and killed him in a hail of about 20 bullets when he pulled a stolen revolver, police said.
Although authorities initially said they did not believe Bonds fired any shots during the confrontation, Boyce later said otherwise.
"We believe that he fired once, killing the officer, and then fired again, on Morris Avenue, at our police officers. We have a witness who says he pointed the gun at the officers," Boyce said Thursday.
That weapon was allegedly stolen from Charleston, West Virginia, where it was reported missing in 2012.
The shooting is described by Police Commissioner James O'Neill as an officer being "assassinated in an unprovoked attack on cops."
"Officer Familia was murdered for her uniform and for the responsibility she embraced," O'Neill said in a message to officers Wednesday night. "For the NYPD, regularly achieving lower and lower crime figures means absolutely nothing when one of our own is brutally shot and killed."
A 12-year NYPD veteran, the 48-year-old Familia had come to police work later in life than most on a force where the average recruit is 26. She had been a nurse and medical assistant first, according to her profile on the career site LinkedIn. A mother of three who lived with her own mother in the Bronx, she felt a calling to help her community, friends said.
"She'd give you the shirt off her back," said Tom Ritter, 59, a plumber who lived downstairs from Familia and said she treated his now-22-year-old son like one of her own children.
"She was the sweetest person you ever want to meet," Ritter said.
Familia worked her entire police career in the Bronx precinct where she was killed while staffing the command post, stationed to help combat rising crime in the neighborhood after a triple shooting in March.
Her policing earned praise even from a woman whose husband she had arrested.
"She gave me good advice, like a mother to a daughter," said Keisha Williams, 31, who said her husband was arrested on a marijuana charge last year. "She's good, but she's a tough cookie. She's a good cop. I'm just sad it was her."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the shooting "the latest in a troubling series of attacks on police officers over the past two years."
While tensions have been running high in recent years between police and black people around the country, there was no immediate indication the killing had a racial dimension. Bonds was black; Familia was black and Hispanic, her family having come from the Dominican Republic. She apparently had no previous contact with him.
Still, the attack recalled the 2014 ambush killings of two New York City officers who were gunned down in their cruiser by a man who had announced online moments before that he was planning to shoot two "pigs" in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York. The gunman then killed himself.
PIX11's Ashley Soley-Cerro and Myles Miller contributed to this report.