Police: Trooper Shot Man Thought to Be Suicidal, Threatening
Authorities are investigating an officer-involved shooting and the arrest of a suspect who was initially thought to be suicidal.
At approximately 9:45pm on Saturday, July 9, 2022 troopers were called to Reynolds Road in the Cattaraugus county town of Machias for a person who was reported to possibly be suicidal.
Using an unmanned aerial system (UAS/drone), the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office worked with the New York State Police and identified the suspect as 20-year-old Thomas Wright of Machias, New York. The NYSP Forensic Identification Unit and the Cattaraugus County District Attorney’s Office also assisted in the investigation of this case.
According to a written release from the New York State Police, “Law Enforcement approached Wright who was [allegedly] holding a baseball bat and was given commands to drop the bat. Wright dropped the bat and drew what appeared to be a black pistol at the Trooper and Deputy giving commands. The Trooper discharged their Division issued firearm striking Wright.”
The trooper's name was not immediately made public pending the investigation.
Police say “immediate medical aid was rendered” and Wright was brought to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment and a subsequent mental health evaluation. The NYSP reports that the gunshot wound was non-life-threatening.
The item allegedly pointed at police by Wright was later identified as an airsoft pistol. Police say that Wright was also in possession of another airsoft pistol as well as a kitchen knife.
No other injuries were reported as a result of the arrest, police say.
Wright was arrested the next day, on Sunday, July 10, 2022, and charged with Menacing in the Second Degree.
Wright was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in court at a future date.
Anyone with information that may be helpful to the investigation is asked to call police. Anonymous calls, e-mail, and messages may also be left with Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers by calling: 1-866-730-8477 (TIPS), by visiting www.mohawkvalleycrimestoppers.com, or by using the P3 Tips mobile app. All information received by Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers is 100% confidential.
[AUTHOR'S NOTE: This post is for informational purposes and is based largely on information received from the New York State Police. Regardless of any statements or photographs regarding potential evidence presented or accusations alleged, the reader is reminded that all suspects and arrested persons are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law. At the time of this posting no additional information is available.]