A rookie city Correction Department officer was sitting in her car, off duty, when she was murdered in a drive-by shooting. Police officials suspect that Bryan was intentionally executed by a contract killer.
Alastasia Bryan, 25, was in her car Dec. 4 only a few miles away from her East New York home when an unknown suspect pulled up and opened fire. The New York Daily News reports that the shooter deployed his weapon five times -- the bullets made a C-shaped pattern in the window and hit Bryan in the head and chest.
"Our correction family and the entire City of New York is shocked and grieving the horrific murder of one of the youngest members of New York City's boldest, who was shot and killed by an unknown assailant while sitting in her car in Brooklyn," said Elias Husamudeen, president of the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association in a statement, according to DNA Info.
"The COBA will do everything we can to support the officer's family during this time and we will not rest until the assailant or assailants are brought to justice," he added.
Bryan had just graduated from the city Correction Academy and was excited to start her job as a guard at Rikers Island. Her mother, 50-year-old Ingrid Bryan, said that her daughter's job was her entire life.
"My daughter doesn’t do anything except comes and goes from work. Work was all she cared about," she told the Daily News. "I’m so sad and upset right now. I’m grieving."
She had hopes of distinguishing herself within the Correction Department and one day working for the NYPD, according to DNA Info.
"She was loving. She was caring. She always wanted to serve and help the people around her. Now someone took that away her," said family member Colleen Yearwood. "She wanted to succeed. She wanted to live her life and take care of her family."
Security footage of the murder shows that the killer waited in a parking lot for about an hour for Bryan to get to her car, New York Daily News reports. He then ambushed her. Some investigators believe that an inmate at Rikers Island contracted somebody to murder Bryan. Correction officers, however, say that she had little interaction with inmates and was not yet allowed to carry a handgun as she was still in training.
Bryan's ex-boyfriend, however, may have been involved. According to the Daily News, he has been arrested 31 times, two of which were for domestic violence incidents involving Bryan. He is said to have commonly threatened her life, and Bryan's mother reports that he was furious after their recent breakup.
"We have a long way to go on this investigation," NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told the Daily News. "We have some very strong leads."