New York Police Search for Gunman Who Shot 2 N.Y. State Troopers, One Fatally


April 25, 2007, 02:22 PM
No word on weapons used by the shooter yet. I'm sure this, along with all the other incidents occurring very recently, will be used as ammunition for additional gun legislation. I know a .50 ban is being debated on the floor of the state legislature in NY today amongst other things.

New York Police Search for Gunman Who Shot 2 N.Y. State Troopers, One Fatally
Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Travis D. Trim, 23, of North Lawrence, N.Y., is suspected of shooting three state troopers, one of whom died April 25.
MARGARETVILLE, N.Y. — Heavily armored police hunting for a suspect in the shooting death of a state trooper and wounding of two others surrounded a rural farm house Wednesday in the Catskill Mountains.

An armored vehicle moved in and out of the property as police sharpshooters took up positions behind a stone wall in the compound. Other officers were stationed on overlooking hilltops or were shielded by trees and walls.

There was no sign of activity from the house, and it wasn't immediately clear if any residents were there or in its two red barns. Neighbors described the property as a weekend residence in Arkville, a rural hamlet near Margaretville.

Shortly before 1:30 p.m., a robot unit was sent toward the home.

The hunt for Travis D. Trim, 23, of North Lawrence started Tuesday after Trooper Matthew Gombosi was shot in the torso during a traffic stop in the Margaretville area. Police said Gombosi's body armor saved him from serious injury, but the suspect escaped.

A stolen minivan Trim was believed to have been driving was later found abandoned on a road in nearby Middletown, authorities said.

Wednesday morning, two more state troopers who had been searching for Trim were shot during a confrontation in Margaretville.

"They had a good 20 shots going back and forth," said Chan Squires of Margaretville, who witnessed the shootings. "You could hear them ringing out."

A spokeswoman for Gov. Eliot Spitzer said one of the troopers died shortly after the shooting. Both had been flown by helicopter to a hospital, said Maureen Tuffey, a spokeswoman for the state police in Albany. No further information was released.

The shooting death Wednesday was the second of a New York State Trooper during a manhunt since September.

Last summer, Ralph "Bucky" Phillips led police on a five-month manhunt throughout heavily wooded western New York after breaking out of a county jail. During his time on the run, he shot one trooper during a traffic stop and two others who were searching for him. One of those troopers later died.

Phillips was captured in September and is serving two life sentences.

After that manhunt, the largest in New York history, the union that represents state troopers sharply criticized the way state police officials managed the search.

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April 25, 2007, 02:29 PM
a robot unit was sent toward the home
What the...?

April 25, 2007, 02:40 PM
BUT NY is a GUN FREE ZONE, how did this happen?

April 25, 2007, 02:59 PM

Do not confuse the politics of New York City (and its mayor) with the rest of the state.

Margarteville is a good 2 to 3 hours drive north of NYC.

April 25, 2007, 03:15 PM
My condolences to the families of both troopers. I hope they burn the bastid. On the other hand: Holy crap, who voted Spitzer into office? Since when? I didn't think that moron could get enough votes to be put on a legitimate ballot. Someone a lot smarter than me once said "beware of stupid people in large groups". Sheesh:barf: Joe

April 25, 2007, 04:13 PM
I'm about half an hour away from this, and my girlfriends parents are just up the hill from the first shooting apparently.
We had a real fun time trying to reach them this morning, they wouldnt pick up the phone or anything. Turns out they decided to head out past Elmira to visit granny last night.

From the Times Union:

Police identify dead trooper
North Country resident Travis Trim, 23, sought in trooper shooting

Staff reports
Last updated: 3:29 p.m., Wednesday, April 25, 2007

MARGARETVILLE -- An 8-year-veteran of the State Police died this morning, killed in the hunt for a man suspected of shooting at least two other troopers.

Trooper David C. Brinkerhoff, 29, was shot at 8:45 a.m. while he and fellow Trooper Richard Mattson were searching a home on Cemetery Road for Travis Trim, a 23-year-old St. Lawrence County man wanted for questioning in the shooting Tuesday of another trooper.

Mattson was also shot and was undergoing surgery Wednesday afternoon at Albany Medical Center Hospital.

Shortly after noon, police had surrounded a barn in a valley where Trim was believed to be holed up. Small armored vehicles were also outside the location.

``Today, the New York State Police and the state of New York suffered a tremendous loss,'' Gov. Eliot Spitzer said in a statement. ``One of our best has fallen and another has been seriously wounded in the line of duty.

``While everything possible is being done to address the needs of the families, and to deal with the situation in the field in Delaware County, I ask all New Yorkers to keep the State Police in their thoughts and prayers during this harrowing time.''

Spitzer visited with the injured trooper's family at Albany Med.

``It's a tragedy. It's like losing a member of the family. We grieve,'' Spitzer said as he left the hospital at about 3 p.m.

The entrance to the emergency room at Albany Medical Center Hospital was barricaded this afternoon and security has kept people back. A few state police vehicles were parked at the hospital, and members of the media have assembled.

Coxsackie Town Supervisor Alexander Betke was one of many visitors to the hospital. "I feel sick to my stomach. He loved his wife and his baby more than anything else," said Betke, a long-time friend of Brinkerhoff. "I'm in shock. My prayers and thoughts are with his wife, baby and family. It was a tragic loss of a great person who served this state proudly and heroically."

Trooper Matthew Gombosi, based at Troop C in Sidney, was shot in the chest Tuesday but was not seriously injured in the 2:45 p.m. shooting, said Trooper Nelson Torres, public information officer.

Police said they found the stolen Dodge Caravan Trim allegedly drove abandoned on Searles Hill Road in the town of Middletown on Tuesday.

Police are advising all residents in that area to keep their doors locked and make sure they remove all keys from cars and recreational vehicles.

Albany Police Chief James Tuffey left Albany Med at 11:40 a.m., just as Schenectady Police Chief Michael Geraci pulled up to the hospital. The two police chiefs spoke briefly with each other and had little information to report to the media.

Tuffey said, "Our condolences go out to the families of the officers shot. We're here to support the State Police."

Trim attended the State University of New York at Canton in fall 2006, studying motor-sports performance and repair before leaving the school.

This week's carnage bore an eerie similarity to Ralph "Bucky" Phillips' cop-shooting rampage last year that ended with the death of Trooper Joseph Longobardo and injury to two other troopers.

Phillips, 44, escaped from the Erie County jail last April and on June 10 shot Trooper Sean Brown in Chemung County. Brown, 31, recovered from his injuries and returned to work last summer.

Troopers spent months searching for Phillips in western New York. He ambushed Longobardo, and fellow Trooper Donald Baker Jr., of Clifton Park on Aug. 31, shooting them both and killing Longobardo who lived in Saratoga County.

Phillips was captured on Sept. 8 in Akeley, Pa. He admitted he killed Longobardo and pleaded guilty to other charges. He is serving a life sentence in state prison.

"From experience, I can just tell you that it's the worst thing come true again," said Tracey Baker, whose husband is recovering at home. "It's devastating. We both know exactly what it's like. The worst fear come true."

Gombosi was shot outside the Country Store Sunoco station on Main Street in Margaretville, a Catskills community, part of the town of Middletown, Delaware County.

"The body armor absorbed most of the blow," said Torres. "You will always get bruising."

Police located the van on Cemetery Road in a rural area of Middletown. Police agencies across the Southern Tier are continuing their search for Trim, who stands 5-foot-11 and has brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a torn flannel shirt, an eyebrow ring and a ball cap, police said.

Just before 10 p.m. Tuesday, investigators were focusing on a narrow, remote stretch of Route 30, just outside of Grand Gorge. Troopers stopped cars and trucks on the two-lane road, and used police dogs at the area around a tire center. While traffic was stopped on the road, a search beam from a helicopter focused on the woods a few dozen yards away.

Margaretville, a normally quiet town, was previously best known for a massive flood in 1996, as the east branch of the Delaware River runs past the village.

A 30-year-old Margaretville man, who works and lives across the street from the station where the trooper was shot, said he was on his way home when he passed the trooper, who he said appeared to be speaking with someone while possibly checking a car. The man said he went upstairs to his apartment, heard a shot and ran downstairs in time to see the trooper pulling off his vest.

"I saw the cop going, 'I got shot. I got shot," said the man, who declined to give his name. "He was pulling his vest off, just really (upset)."

Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at (607) 561-7400 or dial 911.

Contributing to this report are staff writers Anne Miller, Danielle Furfaro, Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, Jay Jochnowitz, Paul Grondahl, Mike Goodwin, Dan Higgins.


Dead Trooper:

April 25, 2007, 04:36 PM
Wow... I guess is one instance where it could be considered unhealthy to be Trim.

April 25, 2007, 04:36 PM
Rest in Peace Trooper.

April 25, 2007, 06:20 PM
Here's a link to an update on the story:

April 25, 2007, 09:22 PM
My bad, updated the pic in my post.

So they threw a smoke bomb in to that house to flush him out and burned it down... sounds like a play out of the Waco handbook.

Did anyone say what the reason he might have had for shooting the first officer was? Stolen vehicle? Drugs? or did reason have nothing to do with it?

Edited to add: according to the front page, they found a body in the house, as of yet unidentified.

April 25, 2007, 10:41 PM
Did anyone say what the reason he might have had for shooting the first officer was? Stolen vehicle? Drugs? or did reason have nothing to do with it?
From what I saw on TV, he was driving a stolen vehicle and got pulled over. That's when he shot the first trooper, whose vest saved him. Then he took off. When they were searching for him, they entered that house--not sure if they tracked him, chased him, or it was just an area search. Anyway, he was in there, and that's when he shot the other two. There was a long standoff, and then they shot the smokebombs of whatever they were.

April 25, 2007, 10:51 PM
Just checked the update again:

" The body was in a second-floor doorway, holding a rifle, said Preston Felton, acting superintendent of the New York State Police, at a news conference tonight. Police would not confirm the body is that of fugitive Travis D. Trim, 23, and told the Associated Press it could take a day or two to make an identification."

Pretty good odds that it's him.

I wonder if he had the rifle already or found it in the house. One report said the house was a weekend place for some hunters from out of the area, and there were guns and ammunition stored there.

OK--now from another report, it says the house had burglar alarms, and the troopers were responding to a tripped alarm when the second shooting happened. They must have been pretty sure it was him that tripped the alarm, because I think those two troopers were part of a SWAT unit.

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