‘Unspeakable agony’: Two police officers killed in upstate New York shootout

A suspicious vehicle investigation left an upstate New York community in “unspeakable agony” after an ensuing firefight left multiple law enforcement officers slain.

“We lost two heroes tonight.”

The lives of a Syracuse Police Department officer and an Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office deputy were cut short Sunday when an attempt to pull over a driver ultimately escalated to fatal gunfire. According to a statement from the OCSO, a driver had fled the scene when officers had attempted to pull the suspicious vehicle over, but not before they recorded the license plate.

Utilizing the vehicle’s registration, law enforcement tracked the vehicle back to a street in Liverpool, New York, a suburb of Syracuse and, as detailed by Syracuse Police Chief Joe Cecile during a press conference outside Upstate University Hospital, “They asked for assistance from the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office because they learned additional information the individual diving the vehicle might be armed.”

“Officers from the city and county arrived at the residence on Darien Drive about the same time,” he explained. “While they were inspecting the vehicle and saw what appeared to be guns inside, they heard what sounded like someone manipulating a firearm from inside the residence. Moments later, there was an exchange of gunfire between at least one suspect and the officers and deputies.”

According to Syracuse.com, one nearby resident had described hearing about 20 shots fired, prompting him to call the police.

Both law enforcement officers were transported to the hospital for lifesaving measures, as well as the suspect, but each was pronounced dead.

“We lost two heroes tonight,” said Cecile.

Honoring the ultimate sacrifice given by the officer, said to have been with the department for over three years, and the deputy whom Onondaga County Sheriff Toby Shelley had described as “just a great guy,” fellow first responders gathered by the hundreds outside Upstate University Hospital overnight and saluted the fallen during a somber procession.

The latest tragic deaths among the ranks of law enforcement came only a few weeks after the killing of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller, to whose wake New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) attendance was not welcomed.

Monday morning, she reacted to the news of the latest killings and posted on X, “I am horrified by the senseless killing of a Syracuse Police Officer and an Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputy last night. My prayers are with their families, loved ones, and their colleagues. New York will never forget their heroism and service.”

Similarly, New York Rep. Brandon Williams (R) took to social media to recognize the loss and wrote early Monday, “My team and I are monitoring the situation and are standing by to assist. Our thoughts are with the families of the slain officers, the injured officer, and our LEO community. God bless them all.”

He later added, “Every day, we stand with law enforcement. Today, we weep with them. God bless and keep the families impacted by this tragedy. Unspeakable agony is passing through the heart of our community.”

Shelley indicated that law enforcement now intended to search the home as part of the open investigation surrounding the vehicle and the deaths of the officers.

Kevin Haggerty


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