August 25, 2011

Man Killed After Attacking Officer, Police Say

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One man was shot and killed by an Ithaca Police officer Thursday night after attacking another officer, the New York State Police stated on Friday. The officer who was attacked was also grazed by a bullet.

The 20-year-old suspect, whose name has not been released, approached the Ithaca Police officer at 9:23 p.m. at the Citgo gas station on the corner of West State Street and South Corn Street, across the street from the State Street Diner. The officer was sitting in a patrol car completing paperwork, police said.

The suspect “violently attacked the officer,” according to a statement from the state police. During the struggle, “the suspect tore the officer’s duty weapon away,” the statement said. One round was fired and grazed the officer’s leg.

A back-up Ithaca Police officer soon arrived and ordered the man to drop the weapon, according to the troopers. The officer then shot the man. The suspect was airlifted to Robert Packard Hospital in Pennsylvania and subsequently died, the state police said.

“My heart goes out to all of the involved officers and their families, and I am grateful for the professional service all of our officers provide to this community on a daily basis,” Ithaca Police Chief Ed Vallely said at a press conference on Friday, according to The Ithaca Journal. “I am confident that at the conclusion of this investigation, the officers’ actions will be found to be justified and warranted.”

The state police are conducting the investigation. The names of the officers involved have not been released.

For some people at the scene Thursday night, the incident called to mind the fatal police shooting in February 2010 in which Shawn Greenwood was shot and killed by officers. Police were trying to arrest Greenwood when he drove over a curb and nearly ran over an officer, police said. The death of Greenwood, a black man, sparked increased racial tension in Ithaca. The house of the police officer involved in the shooting was burned down months later.

Original Author: Michael Linhorst