Poughkeepsie Police: Officer Falcone Shot In ‘Close Struggle’ With Suspect

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Poughkeepsie held another news conference Saturday in the aftermath of an apparent murder-suicide and a fatal shooting that left an 18-year veteran of the force dead.

The chaotic events, in which Officer John Falcone, 44, was shot in the head, unfolded at the Metro-North train station in Poughkeepsie Friday afternoon.

Around 1 p.m., police responded to a report of a woman shot on Main Street in Poughkeepsie. Police Chief Ron Knapp said Falcone saw suspect Lee Welch leaving the scene with a child in his arms.

Police said the 27-year-old Welch shot his wife, Jessica Welch, who died at the hospital. She had arranged to meet her estranged husband at the train station to pick up her car, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported that during the struggle with police, Welsh was holding his three-year-old child. The child, however, was not injured.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall hears from Police Chief Ron Knapp

Witnesses told CBS 2 Friday night that the officer was able to get the child away from Welch and into the arms of a civilian. The details of how that occurred are unclear.

After the child was taken to safety, a struggle ensued between Welch, Falcone and other officers who arrived as backup.

“It is our belief that the suspect killed himself after firing at least two shots at the officers, one of them hitting Officer Falcone,” Knapp said at Saturday’s news conference. Falcone died at the hospital Friday night.

“We as a community grieve the loss of John Falcone. In our grief, we are mindful of our slain officer’s 18 years of service to this city and to the final act of unselfish heroism that cost him his life,” Mayor John C. Tkazyik told reporters.

The Welch’s had three children, were separated and had a history of domestic violence, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.

1010 WINS ‘ Steve Sandberg with more on the shooting

While there had been earlier speculation of friendly fire in Falcone’s death, Knapp said neither “the suspect nor the officer were killed by other officers.”

“None of the police officers discharged their weapons and it was in a close struggle that the suspect shot Officer Falcone,” he said.

More from Sophia Hall
  • Suzanne

    Domesic Violence caused this tragedy. What is being done to understand and prevent domestic violence in the City of Poughkeepsie? What dollars or resources is the City of Poughkeepsie investing toward the education and prevention process of domestic violence in our city? The victims of domestic violence are too often blamed and then forgotten. This is an opportunity, yes to mourn but also to organize. Let the headlines lead to $$$ investment in the core of what makes a city thrive, the health and safety of every one of its citizens.

  • plr

    That’s my Aunt who got shot… I hate her husband so much. He left my mom crying. I pray for John Falcone’s family.
    13 year P.R.


  • Greg Jones

    RIP ofc. you held the thin blue line once again. Please dont disrespect the loss of an officer by calling for cover ups.
    Officer G. Jones

  • joeb1077

    Rest in Peace hero. Im sure you never hesitated to do your job that day and payed the ultimate price. God be with your family.

  • Brooklyn resident

    My sympathies to family of the officer and also to the family of the killed woman. There were two tragedies friday. There are children have lost their mother at their father’s hand. May all the people affected be consoled in the days and weeks to come

  • William

    (my comment was to Cleanville Tziabatz- just to be clear!!)

  • nyc

    Was just out to Poughkeepsie – must have been a nice town at one time . I saw boarded up buildings and guys selling drugs on the streets. Horrible run down town !A shame, looks like many towns in America now . Build up America now !

  • WorkingMom

    Not again! Another police officer dies in the line of duty! What job is worth this risk? My heart goes out to Officer Falcone’s family. RIP officer and THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your service, your sacrifice!!!!!! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!

  • David

    My heart and prayers go out to you and your loved ones, officer Falcone. You lived a great live and died a great man. We’ll always miss you.

  • Cleanville Tziabatz

    earlier reports said that the police officers were shooting and a dozen shots were fired. what happened? Coverup?

    • William

      To think that police officers have to protect even morons like you is unbelievable. It’s schmucks like you that are ruining this country. Amazing.. Prayers for Officer Falcone’s family.

    • Mitch

      Cleanville Tziabatz: You’re an idiot.

  • Ellen

    My prays go out to Officer Falcone and his family, friends, and fellow officers who now have to face the awful task of burying someone they love.

  • Vincent

    My heart goes out to this brave man and his family.
    Thank you for your sacrifice, Officer Falcone,
    We are grateful to you, and deeply mourn your death.

  • Hillary

    You gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect the people around the train station. Your precious life was terminated senselessly and too soon. You will be remembered and honored for your courage and bravery. May you rest in peace and continue to watch over and protect your beloved family.

  • captbill'sdaughter

    what a tragic loss for officer falcone’s family and his “family” of the long blue line. i grieve your loss. his last duty truly exemplified the motto of many police departments “to serve & protect.” he saved that 3 yr old from being another innocent victim of domestic violence. thanks officer falcone for your service and bravery. rest in peace.

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