2 officers shot, killed while investigating stolen vehicle in upstate New York

ByJolie Lash and Ivan Pereira ABCNews logo
Monday, April 15, 2024

A sheriff's deputy and a police officer were killed after shots were fired as they investigated a report of a suspicious vehicle in Salina, New York, officials confirmed.

The fallen officers, later identified as Syracuse Police Department Officer Michael Jensen and Lt. Michael Hoosock with the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office, were among a group of investigators looking into the vehicle that allegedly fled from officers at a traffic stop hours earlier, according to Syracuse Police. Investigators tracked the car to a residence at Darien Drive.

When they entered the address, a suspect opened fire, leading to a firefight between officers and the suspect, according to the police.

Christopher R. Murphy, 33, the alleged suspect, was struck and killed, according to police.

Jensen and Hoosock were transported to the hospital, where they were pronounced deceased, police said.

"We lost two heroes tonight," Syracuse Police Chief Joe Cecile said at an early morning briefing.

The incident was sparked after Syracuse police officers attempted to perform a vehicle traffic stop earlier in the evening on what authorities said early Monday morning was a report of a stolen vehicle. When the vehicle -- later in the day described by police as suspicious -- did not stop, the officers got the license plate number and went to a location associated with it, according to the authorities.

"This is a dark day for Syracuse. This is our worst nightmare come true," Mayor Ben Walsh said at a press conference. "Our thoughts right now are with the families of those two officers, two heroes, and if anyone knows the family member of a police officer, give them a hug. This is their worst nightmare and we just need to be there for everyone in the law enforcement community today."

The investigation is ongoing and police are still reviewing body-worn cameras, ballistics and other evidence, officials said at an afternoon news conference.

The New York State Attorney General's office will also assist in the probe.

Jensen, who is survived by his parents and sister, had been with the police department for over two years, Cecile told reporters.

Hoosock, a married father of three, joined the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office in 2007 and received multiple commendations and medals for his service, including the Medal of Valor in 2020, according to Sheriff Toby Shelley.

He also served as a volunteer firefighter, Ryan McMahon, an Onondaga County Executive said.

"This was just an incredible human being," McMahon said at a news conference. "And as the mayor, and the sheriff and Chief Cecil have alluded to, right now our community's in shock, and we're in pain."

ABC News' Megan Wordell and Darren Reynolds contributed to this report.

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