ELMIRA (WENY) – A suspect is dead and a state trooper is hospitalized today after a chaotic scene in Elmira unfolded Friday morning.
It started near Eldridge Park when a police officer attempted to arrest a “wanted” man and say that man pulled out a gun.
Police say the suspect is 53-year-old David Wandell. He was spotted near Davis Street and Woodlawn Avenue in Elmira by Elmira Heights Police at about 11:45 am.
“I have seen numerous cops running through with their guns wide open,” John Kachuroi who lives in the neighborhood said.
Kachuroi says what started off as a typical morning routine turned scary. He heard guns shots while he was in his kitchen and ran outside to see what was going on.
“It had to happen between 11:30 am and 12 pm because I was making breakfast. I heard gunshots coming through Woodlawn, coming up this way toward Davis Street,” Kachuroi said.
He is describing what he saw when State Troopers, Elmira PD, the Chemung County Sheriff, and multiple agencies descended on Davis Street and Woodlawn Avenue. Police say David Wandell took off when an officer tried to arrest him.
After pulling out a gun towards the officer, the officer fired several shots at him before Wandell ran away. Afterward, EPD Chief Alvernaz says they were on the lookout for the suspect.
“The description was out. We checked on the officer and thankfully she did not suffer any injuries during the encounter,” he said.
Officers later spotted Wandell on Davis Street. They say he ran into Woodlawn Cemetery, where he ran into another officer. Police say that’s when Wandell pulled out his gun again, right before the officer shot and killed him.
“He brandished a weapon at the officers there and they shot the suspect. He was deceased at Woodlawn cemetery,” Alvernaz said.
State police say a trooper was injured while in pursuit of the suspect. The trooper’s leg was pierced on the metal fence and she had to be hospitalized but it is not life-threatening. Chief Alvernaz explains she is recovering.
“We have heard that the New York state trooper is out of surgery and we are going to make sure she makes it out of there and is healing quick,” Alvernaz said.
The New York State Police are now investigating.
“Working with all the agencies involved we will be tasked with going through all the steps of a normal investigation in working with the Attorney Generals’ office as well,” Mike Szoczei, BCI Captain said.
The area of Davis Street and Woodlawn Avenue will be blocked off until further notice while this investigation continues.
Police are asking for the public’s help and anyone with information should contact Elmira PD or State Police in Horseheads at 607-739-8797.