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Probe ongoing in fatal Rotterdam police shooting


Probe ongoing in fatal Rotterdam police shooting

The Rotterdam police officer slashed by a suspect Sunday is recovering from his wound out of the hos
Probe ongoing in fatal Rotterdam police shooting
Rotterdam police and New York State Police are seen outside a home in Rotterdam on Roberta Road after a man was shot by police on Sunday. A Rotterdam police officer was slashed with a knife before the fatal shooting.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

The Rotterdam police officer slashed by a suspect Sunday is recovering from his wound out of the hospital, a police spokesman said Monday.

A Rotterdam man, William Clark, 30, of 1061 Roberta Road, who was subsequently shot dead by police, slashed the officer in the head with a knife just before noon Sunday, police said. A Rotterdam officer then opened fire, killing Clark.

The injured officer, a 16-year veteran, required stitches to close his head wound, but police have called the injury non-life-threatening.

“Physically, he’s doing well,” police spokesman Lt. Michael Brown said Monday of the injured officer. “He was released last night from the hospital.”

Details surrounding the slashing and which officer fired remained unclear publicly. Police have also yet to identify either officer.

Brown said he hoped that a news conference would be held in the coming days to detail exactly what the investigation has found.

State police are investigating at the request of Rotterdam police.

In all, two Rotterdam officers and a Schenectady County sheriff’s deputy were at the house after the 11:30 a.m. call.

“The two Rotterdam officers are the ones who encountered [Clark] where they encountered him,” Brown said. “The sheriff’s deputy was in the house, but wasn’t directly present for that.”

Brown declined to say if the deputy was in a position to see the shooting.

Brown also declined to say if anyone else remained inside at the time of the incident or give the nature of the call.

Rotterdam police officers are generally equipped with microphones that record audio, Brown confirmed. The microphones continue to record officer interactions even when the officers are some distance from their patrol cars.

Brown declined to say if the system caught the audio of the incident.

Both officers are being given time away from work, Brown said.

“It’s obviously a serious call and we felt that they needed some time,” Brown said.

‘Every confidence’

Sheriff Dominic Dagostino said Monday that his department is available for anything the state police need in conducting the probe. The sheriff’s deputy has provided a statement, Dagostino said.

“We have every bit of confidence in the state police coming to an outcome that is accurate as to what happened there,” Dagostino said.

Dagostino said his department has spoken to the deputy and the deputy seems to be OK. The deputy is on regular off days and is expected to return to work Wednesday, he said. The department will speak to the deputy again then to determine if more time is needed.

A representative of the state police could not be reached Monday.

Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney, whose office is expected to review the investigation’s findings, declined to offer further details.

A neighbor on Sunday said Clark is believed to have moved into the home just a week prior to the incident.

Cardboard boxes could be seen outside at the head of the driveway Monday. The driveway-facing porch light remained on.

Police tape surrounded the house and a state police trooper maintained watch on the house.

Property records indicate the home changed hands recently from an individual to a Schenectady-based company named Prime Property Protection. The Schenectady County Clerk’s Office recorded the change March 18. A representative of the company could not be reached.

The incident is believed to be the first officer shooting in the town in decades, if ever.

Brown said there hasn’t been one in his 19 years with the department.

Another official said the incident is believed to be the first of its kind in the department’s 80-year history.

Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122, [email protected] or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.

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