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

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Poughkeepsie officer shot

Investigators work at the scene of a shooting on Feb. 18, 2011, that ended with three people dead, including a city of Poughkeepsie police officer. (Photo: CBS 2)

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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.

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