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Gun used to kill NYPD officer stolen from Marion, police chief confirms

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II). Police investigate on a street near FDR Drive early Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in New York. A New York City police officer has died after being shot in the head in a gun battle (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II). Police investigate on a street near FDR Drive early Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in New York. A New York City police officer has died after being shot in the head in a gun battle
(New York Police Department via AP). A photo, date not known, provided by the New York Police Department shows police Officer Randolph Holder, who police said died after being shot in the head in a gun battle while pursuing a suspect Tuesday, Oct. 20 (New York Police Department via AP). A photo, date not known, provided by the New York Police Department shows police Officer Randolph Holder, who police said died after being shot in the head in a gun battle while pursuing a suspect Tuesday, Oct. 20
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II). Tyrone Howard is escorted by police officers out of the 25th precinct, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II). Tyrone Howard is escorted by police officers out of the 25th precinct, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in New York.

MARION COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A gun that was stolen from the City of Marion in October of 2011 is the same gun that was used in the murder of a New York Police Department officer killed on October 20 of this year.

Randolph Holder, a five-year veteran of the NYPD, was killed on Oct. 20 after being shot in the head in Manhattan's East Harlem neighborhood. He and his partner had been chasing a man after responding to a call of shots fired and a bicycle stolen at gunpoint. Authorities allege the suspect hopped off the stolen bicycle and shot Holder in the head.

According to Marion County Police Chief Dewayne Tennie, the gun used to shoot and kill Officer Holder is the same gun stolen from a vehicle’s glove box on South Pine Street in Marion in 2011.  The police report lists Roderick Hughes as the victim of the theft.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Lt. R. Kelley Hughes said Roderick Hughes was a trooper for Troop 5 from 2003 to 2009. 

In December 2007, Highway Patrol started a weapons transition from the .40-caliber glock. For those transitions, Highway Patrol will sell the old weapons to the same store the new weapons are being purchased from, which in this case was Lawmen's Safety Supply in Columbia. 

Troopers are given the option of buying their weapon back from the store before they're put up for sale to the public.

Hughes chose to do that in 2008 and the gun became his own private weapon. He left South Carolina Highway Patrol the following year.

It was two years after that when he reported the gun stolen from his personal car at his house on South Pine Street.

The Marion Police Department hadn't heard anything on the whereabouts of the gun until recently.

"The case went cold until last week we got a call from the New York Police Department stating a gun was involved in an officer shooting and unfortunately the gun was taken from South Carolina and ended up in the wrong hands in New York," Chief Tennie said.

He said it's common for guns from the South to end up in the North because of what's called a gun pipeline. Looser gun regulations and cheaper prices make South Carolina a target for people looking to make money.

"You can buy a gun here for like $300. Up north, you can sell it for about $2,000," Chief Tennie said.

He said people need to lock their guns whether the weapons are in a car or a house. He also recommends people record the serial number and keep it somewhere safe. That helps police get the gun off the street sooner.

A report from the NBC affiliate in New York indicates the gun was originally purchased from a shop on Broad River Road in Columbia, South Carolina. WNBC reports the gun was bought from Lawmen's Safety Supply in 2008. The gun, according to police investigators, was found at the bottom of the East River. 

The suspect in Holder's death, 30-year-old Tyrone Howard, has been charged with murder and robbery. A grand jury has indicted him, but the charges won't be announced until a state Supreme Court arraignment on Nov. 24. His attorney has said there are missing details in the case.

A funeral was held Wednesday for Officer Holder at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York in Queens.

The Associated Press and WISTV contributed to this report. Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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