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NYPD cop killer shot girlfriend in Baltimore first

Last Updated Dec 21, 2014 2:32 PM EST

NEW YORK -- Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the man who ambushed and killed two NYPD cops in Brooklyn Saturday, began his day by shooting his ex-girlfriend and making online posts that were "very anti-police," Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

Baltimore County Police responded to a call at Brinsley's ex-girlfriend's home in the Baltimore suburb of Owings Mills, Maryland around 5:48 a.m. on Saturday. Brinsley had shot the 29-year-old woman in the stomach and fled, cops said. She's expected to survive.

Police in Baltimore then discovered around 1:30 p.m. that Brinsley had been making posts from the woman's Instagram account that threatened to kill New York officers. They determine the posts were being made from Brooklyn, New York.

A short time later, around 2:30 p.m., police in Baltimore call the 70th precinct in New York, advising NYPD that the phone of a suspect in the Owings Mills shooting is pinging in their Brooklyn precinct. The two police departments discuss the Instagram posts during the call, and a "wanted" poster of Brinsley is faxed to NYPD with information about the subject.

A little more than 15 minutes later, Brinsley approaches the passenger window of a marked police car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn and opens fire, striking Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in the head, killing them. He takes off running as officers pursue him down to a nearby subway station, where he shoots himself in the head.

Then, around 2:50 p.m., The Baltimore Police Department sends a teletype with the same information contained on the "wanted" poster to the NYPD's real-crime center at police headquarters.

Bratton said Saturday that the NYPD first learned about Brinsley's connection to Brooklyn via a faxed warning flier, but it was not received until around the same time as the 2:47 p.m. shooting.

"At approximately 2:45 this afternoon, Baltimore authorities sent a fax," Bratton said. "Unfortunately, it was essentially at the same time our officers were being ambushed and murdered by Brinsley."

The NYPD will be working with Baltimore police to determine a motive and what brought Brinsley to New York City, Bratton said.

A law enforcement source told CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton that Brinsley has a history of domestic violence charges against him involving threatening family members and girlfriends in both New York and Georgia.

Brinsley had also been charged with shoplifting, illegal possession of a knife and concealed weapon, and resisting arrest in Georgia. He also had traffic violations against him in Ohio.

Brinsley wrote on an Instagram account ahead of the shooting: "I'm putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours, let's take 2 of theirs."

He used the hashtags Shootthepolice RIPErivGardner (sic) RIPMikeBrown.

A photo of Ismaaiyl Brinsley is seen overlain on the sceneof police block off the area of a shooting where he is alleged to have killedtwo New York police officers as they sat in their squad car before killinghimself in New York, in this December 20, 2014.

CBS News/Reuters

Around 2:47 p.m., police said Brinsley approached the passenger window of a marked police car and opened fire, striking Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in the head. The officers were on special patrol doing crime reduction work in a Brooklyn neighborhood.

The officers were at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Tompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

"They were, quite simply, assassinated -- targeted for their uniform," Bratton said.

Brinsley took off running after the shooting. Officers chased him down to a nearby subway station, where he shot himself in the head as a subway train door full of people closed.

"This may be my final post," Brinsley wrote in the Instagram post that included an image of a silver handgun. A silver handgun was recovered at the scene of the shooting, police said.

Another picture showed what appeared to be blood on a pair of jeans and references to Brooklyn, CBS New York reports.

CBS News could not independently verify that the messages came from the suspect.

Bratton confirmed that Brinsley made very serious "anti-cop" statements online but did not get into specifics of the posts. He said they were looking at whether the suspect had attended any rallies or demonstrations.

Two city officials with direct knowledge of the case confirmed the posts to The Associated Press. The officials, a senior city official and a law enforcement official, were not authorized to speak publicly on the topic and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Brinsley went to the home of a former girlfriend in Owings Mills in the Baltimore area and shot and wounded her around 5:45 a.m. on Sunday, reports CBS Baltimore. That victim is expected to survive.

Police there said they noticed Brinsley posting to the woman's Instagram account about a threat to New York officers.

"Baltimore County detectives later received information from the victim's mother that Brinsley was posting on the victim's Instagram account," Bratton said.

Te posts were apparently online for hours, though it's not clear if anyone reported them.

Bratton called on New Yorkers to alert authorities of any threats to police they see - even if they do not seem real. "That information must get into the hands of the police officers," he said.

Criminal records show Brinsley has a history of arrests on various charges in Georgia, including robbery, shoplifting, carrying a concealed weapon, disorderly conduct and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

Bratton said his last-known address was Georgia, but he had some ties in Brooklyn.

Bratton said the department's 35,000 officers will soon be getting new technology that would allow the immediate sending of photos and warnings into the field, CBS New York reports.

The specially outfitted tablets and laptops will go to every officer.

Hours after the shooting, the head of New York City's police union blasted Mayor Bill de Blasio and those who have recently protested against incidents of police violence.

"There's blood on many hands tonight," Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch told reporters outside the hospital where officers Liu, 32, and Ramos, 40, died.

"Those that incited violence on the streets under the guise of protest that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on, it cannot be tolerated," Lynch said. "That blood on the hands starts at City Hall in the office of the mayor."

Lynch and de Blasio have been locked in a public battle over treatment of officers following the decision not to indict an NYPD officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in July. Just days ago, Lynch suggested police officers sign a petition that demanded the mayor not attend their funerals should they die on the job.

Demonstrators around the country have staged die-ins and other protests since a grand jury decided Dec. 3 not to indict the officer involved in Garner's death, a decision that closely followed a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict a white officer in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old.

Rev. Al Sharpton, who has led marches against police brutality across the country in recent months, said in a statement: "We have stressed at every rally and march that anyone engaged in any violence is an enemy to the pursuit of justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown."

Brown's family condemned the shooting in a statement posted online by their attorney.

"We reject any kind of violence directed toward members of law enforcement. It cannot be tolerated. We must work together to bring peace to our communities," the family said.

Several New York officers were assaulted during a demonstration that drew thousands to the Brooklyn Bridge last weekend, although the protests have been largely been peaceful. Three people have been arrested in the assault; four other suspects remain at large.

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