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Officer, deputy and suspect killed in a shootout outside Syracuse, police say

Tape reading 'Crime scene do not cross' in front of a blurry police car
Max Schulte
Crime scene tape.

LIVERPOOL — A police officer and a sheriff's deputy in upstate New York were shot and killed Sunday night in an exchange of gunfire with another person, who also was killed, police said.

The shooting took place shortly after 8 p.m. in suburban Liverpool, about 6 miles north of Syracuse.

The Syracuse Police Department and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office were tracking a vehicle that had eluded police earlier, Syracuse Police Chief Joseph Cecile said during a news conference.

Two Syracuse police officers unsuccessfully attempted to stop a suspicious vehicle but got the license plate and tracked it to an address on Darien Drive in Liverpool. They requested assistance from the sheriff’s office after learning the vehicle's driver might be armed, Cecile said.

The officers found the vehicle at the home and saw what appeared to be guns inside the auto. They then “heard what sounded like someone manipulating a firearm from inside the residence," Cecile said.

At least one person then exchanged gunfire with the officers. The Syracuse officer, sheriff’s deputy and the suspect were shot and brought to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.

All three were pronounced dead at the hospital, Cecile said. Their names were not immediately released.

“We lost two heroes tonight,” Cecile said.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she was “horrified by the senseless killing” of the two officers.

“My prayers are with their families, loved ones, and their colleagues,” the governor posted on X. “New York will never forget their heroism and service.”

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reported the officers were the first law enforcement officers to be killed in the line of duty in Onondaga County since Officer Wallie Howard Jr. was shot to death during an undercover drug operation in October 1990.

Cecile said the Syracuse officer who was killed had been with the department for three years and was ambitious and hard-working.

Onondaga County Sheriff Toby Shelley said the deputy had been with the department for a longer period of time and “was just a great guy.”

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, "This is a dark day for Syracuse. This is our worst nightmare come true.”

Shelley said police planned to search the house as part of the ongoing investigation.

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