Another chilling aspect of the man who fatally ambushed two New York Police Department officers over the weekend was his apparent affinity for the city of Compton.
Twenty-eight-year-old shooter Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who committed suicide with his gun as NYPD cops zeroed in on him Saturday afternoon, had posted a selfie of himself in front of a Compton city sign on Instagram.
Observers have been wondering since Sunday what his ties to the L.A. area might be.
Officials with the L.A. Sheriff's Department, which patrols Compton, and the Los Angeles Police Department say Brinsley had no known local ties, arrests or criminal record.
It's possible he simply took a tourist-style selfie and posted it, they said. Sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said she spoke to the captain of the department's Compton station.
“We're not aware of a connection to Compton,” she told us. “No [East Coast] authorities have contacted us regarding a possible connection to Compton.”
The LAPD's Jack Richter said Brisnley had no local ties “that we're aware of.” “We'd know about it” if he did, he added.
Over the weekend the New York Daily News reported that Brinsley was suspected of being a member of a prison gang, the Black Guerrilla Family, that had “declared open season on the NYPD.”
The nationwide gang was founded in San Quentin state prison in 1966, but that's about the full extent of any known connections between Brinsley and the West Coast.
The NYPD says Brinsley walked up next to a patrol car in which officers Wenjian Liu, a 32-year-old, seven-year veteran of the force, and Rafael Ramos, a 40-year-old, two-year veteran, were sitting and opened fire at least four times, killing both men.
It happened Saturday about 2:47 p.m. EST at Myrtle and Tompkins avenues near a housing project in Bedford-Stuyvesant, police said. He reportedly told two men on the street, “Watch what I'm going to do,” after asking for their gang affiliations.
Brinsley, who was born nearby, in Brooklyn, was apparently angry over the police-involved deaths of unarmed black men in Ferguson, MO and New York.
The shooter had a long criminal record and was suspected of shooting his ex-girlfriend the morning before his Brooklyn attack. He posted this message to Instagram before Saturday's tragedy:
“They take 1 of ours … let's take 2 of theirs.”