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Police officer and sheriff’s deputy killed in Syracuse shootout at runaway driver’s home

A police officer and a sheriff’s lieutenant were shot and killed after confronting a driver who failed to stop Sunday in upstate New York, police said.

The suspect opened fire with a Springfield AR-15 replica, a semi-automatic version of a military long gun, from a deck at his home, killing one of the lawmen, before heading toward the ‘front of the house to shoot the other, the Syracuse police chief. said Joe Cécile.

Lt. Michael Hoosock of the Onondaga Sheriff’s Office was fatally shot from the bridge, he said, and Syracuse Police Officer Michael Jensen was fatally shot in front of the house.

“He was ambushed,” Sheriff Toby Shelley said of the lieutenant.

The suspect was killed by return fire outside his residence, Cecil said. Thomas Newton, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, confirmed that it was 33-year-old Christopher Murphy.

A man believed to be a friend of the suspect was apprehended as he attempted to leave the residence through the yard, officials said at the news conference. It was unclear whether he would face charges.

Syracuse police said in a statement that officers spotted a “suspicious vehicle” shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday on the city’s west side.

Police attempted to stop the car, but the driver “refused to stop and fled the scene,” the release said. Cécile said the car, a gray Honda Civic, was eluding authorities at speeds of 100 mph at one point.

Officers traced the license plate to a home in Liverpool, an Onondaga County community north of Syracuse, and police requested help after receiving information that the suspect may be armed , according to the Syracuse police press release.

Cecile said the first law enforcement officers on the scene spotted the Civic and were inspecting it when they heard something alarming. The sheriff said his lieutenant was the first to come across the vehicle, after he “took the initiative” and decided on his own to respond to the scene.

“They heard what sounded like a gun being tampered with, so they took cover,” Cécile said.

A large-scale shootout ensued between law enforcement and the suspect, police said in an earlier statement.

Jensen and Hoosock were taken to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, where life-saving measures were unable to prevent them both from dying from their injuries, authorities said.

“We lost two heroes tonight, men who answered the call of duty and put on the badge to protect the community,” Cecile said earlier.

The chief described Jensen, before he was publicly identified, as a young officer who had been on the job for three years.

Shelley described Hoosock – initially speaking before his name was published – as well-liked and “just a great guy”. Later, after being identified, Shelley said Hoosock was a decorated attorney and bomb squad member who had served in office since 2007. He is survived by a wife and three children ages 3, 5 and 7 years, the sheriff said.

At Monday afternoon’s news conference, law enforcement officials said they may know what motivated the suspect, but it was too early to say for sure.

“There’s something in his past that I don’t think we can reveal at this point that might be an indicator of why he did this,” Cecile said.

The suspect had a clean record except for a drunken driving arrest from 2014, the chief said, calling it his “only interaction that we are aware of” with local law enforcement. The fate of this case was not immediately clear.

Joe Moran, president of the union that represents the Syracuse city police, described the suspect in subhuman terms as he decried the end of Jensen’s service.

“An evil demon took him away from his children and his family,” he said at the afternoon event, adding the same for Hoosock.

Dozens of police officers lined the street and saluted the ambulance carrying the officers’ bodies, police lights flashing silently, as it passed the Syracuse Police Department.

Anyone with information about the incident is “strongly encouraged” to contact the Syracuse Police Department.

The incident is the latest in a list of attacks on law enforcement officers, with more than 100 shootings across the United States this year, according to Joe Gamaldi, national vice president of the Order police fraternal.

A Memphis police officer was killed in a shooting Friday after police responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle.

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