The man, who shot and killed two US police officers on Saturday, was a suicide-prone wanted man charged with various crimes and was reportedly taking a twisted revenge against the cops for the high-profile Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, reports say.
According to details amassed from various sources, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the suspect, was a serial criminal who ultimately seemed to have fulfilled his death wish in Brooklyn on Saturday. He was arrested 19 times in different states. Some of the crimes were petty shoplifting busts, but Brinsley had gone to prison for two years for weapons possession in August 2011, reports Daily Beast.
Meanwhile, investigators said on Sunday that Brinsley told bystanders to follow him on Instagram and said, "Watch what I'm going to do," reports NBC.
The news came as police sketched a timeline of Brinsley's activities in the hours before he shot and killed Officers Wenjian liu and Rafael Ramos in Brooklyn on Saturday before killing himself hours later.
The 28-year-old first shot his ex-girlfriend at her apartment in Baltimore before taking a bus to New York. Police later discovered that Brinsley had his ex-girlfriend's cell phone and was using it to post messages on his Instagram account issuing threats to NYPD. One warning read: "I'm putting wigs on pigs today. They take 1 of ours...Let's take 2 of theirs."
Brinsley passed Liu and Ramos' patrol car before circling back and firing four shots into the vehicle, according to police. After he was chased to the subway, he turned the gun on himself.
Brinsley "may have" claimed that he was hunting police officers in some kind of a revenge for Michael Brown and Eric Garner, who were both shot dead by police. The man, who tried to unsuccessfully hang himself last year, had once marked "yes" to a question while in Cobb County, Ga., asking if he'd ever been admitted to a mental institution or was ever under psychiatric care.
Brinsley also made one reference to burning an American flag on his Instagram account, which has since been taken down, reports suggest.
According to Police sources, Brinsley's mom said her son wasn't diagnosed with a mental illness but he had been under medications and possibly had a disorder that remained undetected.