Cop Shooter ‘Loco Larry’ Slain in Jail

Feb 21, 2008 3:34pm

Larry Davis was a 20-year-old thug known on the street for his temper and his flash when he shot six New York City cops one night in 1986 and then evaded a massive police manhunt for 17 days before surrendering. He had become a 41-year-old inmate with a discipline problem who was serving 30 to life before he was stabbed to death in a maximum security prison Wednesday night, corrections officials said. "You knew the guy was going to go that way anyhow. Whether he went to jail, or he got out of jail and joined the circus, he still going to get killed somewhere," Donald O’Sullivan, one of the cops Davis shot, told WABC in New York. "The guy was a killer, and he killed a lot of people. He killed at least 20 to 23 people. He raped women. He would tie up people, shoot them in the head. Everybody was a shot in the head," said O’Sullivan, now retired. Dubbed "Loco Larry" on the streets of the Bronx, Davis was Inmate No. 88T2550 at the maximum security Shawangunk Correctional Facility in upstate New York. He died Tuesday night at 7:58 p.m. from wounds inflicted by another inmate armed with a 9.5-inch by 1.25-inch flat metal shank, prison officials said. On Nov. 19, 1986, Davis, a suspect in a quadruple homicide, gunned down six cops who had cornered him. With a shotgun and a .45 pistol, Davis blasted his way to freedom wounding his hunters in the process. Police officials called it the worst shooting of police in the history of the city — they did so in a year when 21 cops were shot, and three were killed. "I can’t say off the top of my head, but I believe this may be the worst shooting in the police department’s history," then-Chief of Department Robert J. Johnston told the newspaper I worked for at the time. Davis, a high school dropout, had flash, said his friends on the street, but before he fled, he told his sister that against the weight of the police, he didn’t stand a chance. "If I’m caught on the street, the police will shoot me," Lewis said her brother told her. "I’ll shoot them first. I want to die."  He didn’t really mean it. After a 17-day manhunt, Davis spent five hours negotiating with police, confessed he was afraid and surrendered. It was Dec. 6, 1986. "Inmate Davis was 41 years old and serving a 30-years-to-life sentence out of Bronx County for multiple counts of murder and weapons and one count of attempted robbery. He would have been eligible for parole consideration in 2016," New York State Prison spokesperson, Erik Kriss, said in a statement. "Inmate Davis was pronounced dead at the facility at 7:58 p.m. He received multiple stab wounds to his head, chest, arms, back and legs."  He had allegedly been assaulted by Inmate No. 3B2677, Luis Rosado, who is expected to face criminal charges. In addition to Det. O’Sullivan, five officers were shot and wounded by Davis. They were: Capt. John J. Ridge, 57; Det. Thomas J. McCarren, 43; Officer John G. O’Hara, 26; Officer Mary E. Buckley, 40; and Sgt. Edward J. Coulter, 44; all recovered from their wounds.  During his 17 days as a fugitive, Davis briefly became something of a folk hero in a racially divided city; a symbol of the anger against a police department perceived as pervasively racist. At trial, Davis was acquitted of murdering the drug dealers. In a separate trial, he was acquitted of attempting to murder the cops — and three other cops — despite overwhelming evidence that he did. The verdict sparked angry police protests. He was convicted of weapons charges and had remained in jail ever since. In 1991, he was convicted of a murder.
"When he was on the news this morning, believe me, I didn’t cry a tear," O’Sullivan told WABC’s Jeff Rossen. "He had a legend, but it was a legend in his own mind. He wasn’t a legend to decent people. If other people want to call him a hero, go ahead and call him a hero. Anybody that puts two young babies in front of them and starts shooting a gun and a shotgun; it’s hard to call him a hero. And anybody who shoots an officer, the officer’s a hero." This post has been updated.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus