2 law enforcement officers, suspect killed after exchanging gunfire at home near Syracuse, New York

The police deaths add to the at least 38 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty so far this year

ByParadise Afshar, CNN
Monday, April 15, 2024
2 law enforcement officers, suspect killed after exchanging gunfire at home near Syracuse, New York
The incident began when two Syracuse Police Department officers tried to pull over a suspicious vehicle.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Two law enforcement officers and a suspect were killed Sunday following an exchange of gunfire at a home near Syracuse, New York - a confrontation that began with an attempted traffic stop, officials say.

"This is a dark day for Syracuse. This is our worst nightmare come true. And our thoughts right now are with the families of those two officers, those heroes," Mayor Ben Walsh said at a news conference.

The police deaths add to the at least 38 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty so far this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Last year, 136 officers died in the line of duty across the US, according to a report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a 39% decrease from 224 deaths in 2022.

The incident in upstate New York began just after 7 p.m., when two Syracuse Police Department officers tried to pull over a suspicious vehicle, Chief Joseph Cecile said at the news conference. The driver didn't stop and the officers lost sight of the vehicle, Cecile said, but they used the license plate to link it to a home in nearby Liverpool.

The officers asked for assistance from the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office after learning the person driving the vehicle may be armed, Cecile said. Members of each department arrived at the home around the same time.

"While they were inspecting the vehicle and saw what looked to be guns inside, they heard what sounded like someone manipulating a firearm from inside the residence," Cecile said. "Moments later, there was an exchange of gunfire between at least one suspect and the officers and the deputies."

An officer, a deputy and the suspect were all shot and pronounced dead at a hospital, Cecile said, noting the investigation is ongoing.

The identities of the fallen officers and the suspect haven't been released.

The officer had been on the job for about three years, Cecile said. Onondaga County Sheriff Toby Shelley described the deputy as "seasoned."

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