Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Delaware County, New York Hits CNN

State Police acting Superintendent Preston L. Felton said the cause of the fire isn’t known. It’s possible suspect Travis D. Trim set the fire, Felton said, or a tear gas round could have ignited something.
“We are looking closer at the type of round that was fired into the residence, the type of tear gas round,” he said.
MIKE GROLL The Associated Press

Today I made my usual morning check on the Oneonta Daily Star and saw a story at the top of the local news about a state trooper being shot in Margaretville, New York. The trooper was wearing a bulletproof vest and was not seriously injured. The shooting took place right down the road from Margaretville Central School. I lived in the next town over and drive through Margaretville every time I go home to Coach Mom's house.

I googled the name of the shooting suspect, Travis Trim, and found that the situation had gotten much, much worse. The state police tactical team brought in to look for the kid entered a vacation house in Arkville (the next hamlet over) this morning where burglar alarms had been triggered. Trim was in the house, and two state troopers were shot. Trooper David C. Brinkerhoff died shortly thereafter, and the other trooper, Richard Mattson, was airlifted to Albany Medical Center for treatment. He is in serious but stable condition.

The police surrounded the house and kept it under surveillance all day until about 6:00 p.m. when tear gas canisters were fired into the house. Minutes later the house went up in flames (I watched tape of the fire starting, and you can hear the voices of people on the hill watching it happen: "Who started the fire?" "Could be him, or could be a tear gas canister, they get real hot when they go off.") The house went up quickly; reportedly, the absentee homeowner had informed the police that there was a large gun collection in the house. You could hear things exploding as the fire burned; the firefighters who tried to hose down the flames had to back away when there was a crack, which could have been a shot or just ammunition in the house exploding from the flames. A body [presumably the 23-year-old suspect] was found slumped in the doorway of one of the second story rooms, clutching a rifle.

Horrible all around. The poor family of that state trooper. The people that owned the house. The grandmother of the shooter was quoted as saying: "He was a smart kid. I don't know what happened to him," Ruth Trim said. "I don't think there's any way for this to turn out good now. Not after shooting a trooper. His goose is cooked." Prophetic, unfortunately.

CNN: Body found in burned house after hunt for trooper's killer

MSNBC: Body found in burned house after standoff
Trooper slain during manhunt for suspect in shooting of two other officers

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle: Photo Gallery

NYTimes: 2 N.Y. State Troopers Shot; 1 Dies of Injuries

Capital (Albany, NY) 9 News: Police: Travis Trim believed dead

Albany Times-Union: Body found in charred home at shooting site
North Country resident Travis Trim, 23, suspect in trooper's death

AP Video

Update: The body has been identified as Travis Trim.

A trust fund has been set up for Trooper Brinkerhoff's daughter [see sidebar].

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