NY cops fire 84 shots at suspect, who lives
Man charged with killing his sleeping kid sister
By Jamie Schram, Larry Celona and Dan Mangan
The New York Post
NEW YORK — Two Harlem cops yesterday fired a staggering 84 shots at an armed thug after he squeezed off one round at them — but the punk incredibly survived and was charged with slaying his sleeping kid sister and trying to kill their mother, authorities said.
The 3:30 a.m. explosion of gunfire terrified residents near 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard.
“It was like a shootout in the movies!” said one shocked tenant of the Polo Grounds Houses.
Steven Murray’s mother, Christine Fryar, 44, who was shot three times by her son, was shown his photo at Harlem Hospital and told cops, “That’s my son! That’s the animal who shot me and killed my daughter!” authorities said.
Murray, 28, suffered 14 bullet wounds during the mayhem after refusing police orders to drop his .22-caliber “Saturday Night Special,” officials said.
“He would not go down,” a law-enforcement source said of Murray.
The uniformed cops — a sergeant and police officer — unleashed the barrage of bullets from 70 feet away. They each reloaded their pistols twice.
"[Murray] still had the gun in his hand. He wouldn’t obey orders. He was pointing [the gun] at the cops, and he wouldn’t respond,” the source said. “After he finally went down, he still had the gun in his hand, and he was still moving.”
Authorities said problems within the family reached a boiling point Monday. Murray’s tragic half-sister, Annie Fryar, 13, was uncharacteristically absent from nearby PS 46.
Murray had just moved back from North Carolina to live with his mother and his sister in the 12th-floor, one-bedroom apartment.
He and his mom were butting heads because he wasn’t working or contributing to the upkeep of the cramped home, and she wanted him to move out, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
After missing school, Annie, who often tried to play peacemaker between the pair, went outside Monday evening, but “had to go upstairs because her brother was getting drunk, and her mom and her brother were arguing” again, said her friend Donette Skinner, a sixth-grader.
Building resident Peter Martinez, 42, said he had seen Murray in the lobby just before midnight Monday and, “He was very spooky-looking.
“He was almost homeless the way he dressed and kept his hair,’' the neighbor said.
“What made it strange was that he had black gloves [on]. The look on his face made it seem like he was plotting something.”
Martinez recalled a conversation between Murray and his little sister last week in which he heard the suspect hiss to the girl, “You told Ma I brought that girl to the house.’'
Annie denied it and looked afraid, Martinez said.
Annie’s mom and brother got into another argument at around 2 a.m. yesterday, and the woman retreated into her bedroom, Browne said.
About an hour later, Murray inexplicably fired two shots into his sister’s head — once near her right eye and then just above, in her forehead — as she slept on a pull-out bed the two shared in the living room, cops said.
Their mother ran out from the bedroom, and Murray allegedly turned the .22 on her, hitting her twice in the hand and once in her head. The last shot miraculously failed to penetrate her skull.
“I heard, ‘Pop! Pop! Pop!’ It was so loud, I thought it was in my apartment,” said an upstairs neighbor. “I heard a woman say, ‘You shot my daughter!’ And she started crying.”
Christine Fryar fled back to her room and called her husband, who lives in The Bronx, and sister.
“I’ve been shot, and I think Annie’s dead!” Fryar told them, according to Browne.
She then saw Murray in the hallway reloading his revolver, police said, and retreated back to her bedroom — desperately blocking the door to keep him out.
Murray finally gave up and fled.
Two cops from the 30th Precinct were investigating an unrelated shooting about 10 blocks away when they heard about the carnage and sped to the scene.
The sergeant and officer spotted the gun-toting Murray lurking near the southbound off ramp of the Harlem River Drive at Eighth Avenue, police said.
“Stop! Drop the gun!” the cops repeatedly said over their cruiser’s loudspeaker, Browne said.
Murray turned and allegedly fired a single shot — which struck the patrol car. The two cops exited the car and opened fire.
The police officer fired 45 shots — one round in his gun’s chamber, two 15-round magazines and all but one round in his third magazine. He told investigators he thought he was out of ammo. The sergeant also fired one shot he kept in the chamber, two 15-shot magazines and eight rounds from his third magazine, Browne said.
After Murray crumpled to the ground from his wounds, there were still four rounds in his small, .22-caliber Röhm Sontheim Brenz, police said.
He was in critical but stable condition last night after undergoing surgery at Harlem Hospital.
Murray has a long arrest record that includes assaulting cops in The Bronx and North Carolina, along with robbery, weapons possession and possession of stolen property. NYPD officials said they know of no outstanding warrants against him.
In the 2006 Sean Bell shooting, five cops fired 50 shots at several suspects. Asked whether the number of shots in this case was warranted, Browne said only, “There were numerous shots fired, and this was the circumstance under which they fired.”
Annie’s death devastated her young friends.
“I didn’t think it was going to get carried away like that,’' said a weeping Donette Skinner. “It makes no sense to me. You would have to have so much hatred to shoot your own mother and sister.”
The slain child had been a member of the school choir and active in its Peer Mediation program.
“She was always there to cheer us up, the type of person who wants to be by your side,” said Aaliyah Anderson, 13. “Her family is pretty nice, [but] I never heard her talk about her brother.”
Copyright 2012 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.