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Rotterdam police kill man they say attacked officer with knife

Rotterdam police kill man they say attacked officer with knife

Police Sunday killed a man in his Rotterdam home after he inflicted non-life-threatening injuries on
Rotterdam police kill man they say attacked officer with knife
Rotterdam Police and New York State Police are seen outside of a home in Coldbrook in the 1000 block of Roberta Rd. after a domestic dispute. After a Rotterdam cop was slashed with a knife the man inside was shot dead.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

Rotterdam police say a town police officer shot and killed a man who attacked police with knife seconds earlier in a Rotterdam residence Sunday morning.

Police on Sunday night identified the dead man as William Clark, 30, of 1061 Roberta Road. They did not identify the officer who shot him.

Lt. Michael Brown of the Police Department’s detective division said police were called to the house on Roberta Road, in the town’s Coldbrook section, at 11:30 a.m. A Schenectady County sheriff’s deputy joined two Rotterdam patrolmen at the scene.

“Upon arrival, the officers encountered the individual, who was armed with a knife,” Brown said at the scene. “The individual slashed at one of our officers with that knife, causing a non-life threatening injury.”

In a news release issued Sunday evening, police said: “A Rotterdam officer then fired his service weapon, striking the suspect, which resulted in the suspect’s death.”

Police Chief James J. Hamilton said the injured officer, a 16-year veteran of law enforcement, suffered a head laceration that required stitches at a hospital.

Police closed down Roberta Road between Wayne Road and Alheim Drive, blocking access with both Rotterdam and state police vehicles. Police said they were working to obtain a search warrant for the house.

Steve Marco, who lives several houses down Roberta Road, said he and his father were listening to the police scanner when they heard about the activity in their neighborhood.

“We heard on the scanner that shots were fired, man down,” Marco said. “I walked down. You could see the cop walking out with the bandage to his head. He was fine, he was just looking around.”

Marco said the dead man had just moved into the house, located across from Palazini Drive, last Monday.

Rotterdam police said the investigation has been turned over to state police. Schenectady County District Attorney Robert M. Carney also was at the scene; he later said he has contacted the state Attorney General’s Office under protocol established by the governor and attorney general.

“We’re keeping them apprised of the investigation,” Carney said. “Under that protocol, if there’s a civilian death at the hands of police of somebody who is unarmed, then they have jurisdiction. At this point, it appears that that is not the case and this individual was armed. So I am proceeding at this point as if this is going to be ultimately my case and not the attorney general’s case. That obviously depends upon the completion of the investigation, but that’s the preliminary indication.”

The neighborhood also was the focus of a police investigation that took place three years ago to the day on Sunday — on April 10, 2013.

On that day, the bodies of Jessica McCormack, 22, and her mother, Tammy McCormack, 52, were found inside their home on Inner Drive.

Both women had died of asphyxiation.

Brice Rivenburgh, the former boyfriend of Jessica McCormack, later was charged with the deaths. He eventually pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder. In October 2013, he was sentenced to 45 years to life in prison.

John Pollock, who lives a short distance down Roberta Road from the shooting scene, said he had just returned home from visiting his mother when he saw all the police cars on his street.

“This is a nice, quiet neighborhood,” said Pollock said, who has lived on Roberta for the past 32 years. “All the kids used to play, I used to have a hockey rink in the back of my house. The kids used to come and play and then they all grew up, got married, college. So a lot of us here are empty nesters.”

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 395-3124, [email protected] or @jeffwilkin1 on Twitter.

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