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

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

The so-far unidentified suspect was also killed in the shootout outside his home, police said.

Syracuse Police Department said in a statement that its officers spotted a “suspicious vehicle” shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday between Emerson Avenue and Hamilton Street on the west side of the city.

Police tried to stop the car but the driver “refused to stop and fled the area,” the statement said. Officers tracked the license plate to a home in Liverpool, Onondaga County, north of Syracuse and police asked for assistance after receiving information that the suspect might be armed, it added.

“Shortly after arrival, the police officers and sheriff’s deputies were encountered by an armed male and an exchange of gunfire followed,” the statement said.

The police officer and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office deputy were taken to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, where life-saving measures couldn’t prevent them both died from their injuries. Neither has been identified publicly.

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“We lost two heroes tonight, men who answered the call of duty, put on the badge the protect the community,” Syracuse Police Chief Joe Cecile said in a news conference.

Cecile said the police officer who was killed was young and had been in the job for three years.

Sheriff Tobias Shelley said the deceased deputy was experienced, well-liked and “just a great guy.”

“It’s a dark day for Syracuse,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh at the news conference. “This is our worst nightmare come true. Our thoughts right now are with the families of those two officers, those heroes.”

“If anyone knows the family of a police officer, give them a hug. This is their worst nightmare,” he added.

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

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

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

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

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