Man charged in NYC police ambush shootings pleads not guilty

LONGWOOD, Bronx (WABC) -- The man charged in the ambush shootings of two police officers in the Bronx pleaded not guilty to charges that include attempted murder and assault.

About 50 police officers packed the courtroom for the arraignment on Wednesday.

The suspect, 45-year-old Robert Williams, was arraigned in Bronx Supreme Court on 11 counts of first-degree attempted murder, 12 counts of second-degree attempted murder, 11 counts of aggravated assault upon a police officer, 12-counts of first-degree attempted assault, two counts of second-degree assault and four counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Williams is accused of shooting Officer Paul Strofolino who was driving an NYPD van last month. Authorities say Williams then shot Lt. Jose Gautreaux the next day inside a precinct.

Gautreaux was shot in the arm, but both officers survived.

Officials said the officers who were shot at in the fan in the first incident were there as part of an effort to increase security after a rise in gun violence in the area.

"This man allegedly attempted not once but twice to assassinate police officers; the first time, uniformed officers helping to keep Bronx streets safe, the second time officers inside their stationhouse," said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. "We condemn these actions and support in every way possible the prosecution by District Attorney Darcel Clark. We are confident her office will assure that justice is done."

Williams reportedly held a grudge against police over a prior arrest, according to sources.

He was ordered held in jail without bail.

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