POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Outside the Police Department on Friday night, a flag was at half staff in memory of an officer killed doing his job.
“Today is perhaps the worst day our city has seen in perhaps our history,” Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik said.
The officer, an 18-year veteran whose name was not immediately released, was shot in the head during a harrowing scene at the Poughkeepsie Train Station after responding to shots being fired, reports CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
“He saw the subject leaving the scene with a child in his arms,” Poughkeepsie Police Chief Ron Knapp said.
WCBS 880 Reporter Monica Miller with the latest details from Police Chief Knapp
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That’s when the slain officer didn’t waste a moment.
“This officer is not just a hero for giving up his life but also for saving this child, for getting him away from this madman and into the arms of a civilian who got him to safety,” witness Mike Archer said.
After that, all hell broke loose as cops who arrived as back-up confronted the man.
“Cops are just shooting down … everyone’s like running around,” witness Felicia Albero said.
About a dozen shots were fired, and when it was over, a cop was dead, and that wasn’t all.
“The subject was shot at this stage. We don’t know if it was another officer’s gun or if it was his own gun,” Chief Knapp said.
And when police went to the suspect’s vehicle, they found his wife also shot dead police believe, by the suspect they had confronted.
On Friday night, investigators were processing the scene for bullets and bloodshed. Unknown is who shot the fallen officer — the suspect or friendly fire. What is known is an officer died Friday at an area hospital, and those in town were stunned by the violence.
“I’m shocked because you really don’t find these things happening here,” resident Audrey Horn said.
Knapp said he believes the gunman and his wife weren’t from Poughkeepsie, a city of about 30,000 people about 70 miles south of Albany in the Hudson Valley. Their names have not been released.
A second officer suffered minor injuries and a half dozen others were involved, Knapp said.