A complaint was unsealed last week charging Victor Kingsley, a Brooklyn resident, with using a weapon of mass destruction that resulted in the death of a Queens resident in July 2017, and with the unlawful transportation of explosive materials.
Kingsley used the explosive device in an apparent effort to target New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers. Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division; William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI); and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, NYPD, announced the charges.
“As alleged in the complaint, Kingsley used an improvised explosive device in an attempt to target an NYPD officer, and he killed an innocent civilian in the process,” said Donoghue. “This office and our law enforcement partners will use every tool at our disposal to bring to justice those who endanger the community through acts of senseless violence.”
“Kingsley’s cowardly act was meant to target a New York City Police Officer for doing his job and resulted in the tragic death of an unintended victim,” said O’Neill. “This was a case where the NYPD Detective Bureau, Intelligence Bureau, and FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force combined their expertise and unique talents to find a needle in a haystack — the clues that would lead to the identification of a bomber who went to great lengths to remain hidden.”
As alleged in the complaint, Kingsley built the explosive device used in the July 28, 2017, murder as part of his broader effort to retaliate violently against several police officers who were part of an NYPD unit that had arrested him in January 2014. Despite the case against him having eventually been dismissed, Kingsley methodically sought revenge against the officers.
He conducted internet searches and made telephone calls to determine the locations of the officers’ residences. He also accumulated explosive device components via online purchases made through Amazon, which he had delivered to his house in Brooklyn. Ultimately, he arranged for the explosive device to be placed outside of the Queens residence where Kingsley mistakenly believed one of his target officers resided. The building owner inadvertently detonated the device when he tried to open it, and he died as a result of his injuries.
Thereafter, Kingsley continued to acquire explosive device parts. According to Amazon purchase records, he placed additional orders for explosive device components as recently as last month.
If convicted, Kingsley could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.