A New York State Trooper was gunned down early Monday near the city of Cortland after he responded to a report of a man acting suicidal.
Nicholas Clark, 29, a former All-American football player in college and a state wrestling champion in high school, was shot after responding to the 3:30 a.m. call, according to WGRZ.
Steven Kiley, who is suspected of killing Clark, later shot himself, police said. The shooting took place not far from Corning Community College.
“This is a terrible loss for the New York State Police,” NYSP First Deputy Superintendent Chris Fiore said at a Monday news conference.
Clark, who ended up serving as a trooper in the same region where he was born, viewed this as a chance to serve, said New York State Police Troop E Commander Major Richard Allen.
“He transferred back here to the Bath barracks in August 2017, where he was very proud to serve the citizens that he called friends and neighbors, to try to give back to the community,” Allen said, according to CBS.
“He was very proud to serve the citizens that he called friends and neighbors,” Allen said.
Fiore said that police responding to the call followed established procedure, and tried to negotiate with Kiley, but the suspect inside refused to communicate. He said the 911 call that triggered the response was made by Kiley’s wife, who thought her husband wanted to kill himself.
After Clark was hit, he was pulled from further exposure to the shooter by a Steuben County Sheriff’s deputy, who began a firefight with Kiley, the Cortland Leader reported.
Officials did not describe Clark’s wounds or when he died.
“Nick’s passion was to serve others and this led him to his position as a NYS Trooper. His passing underscores the incredible sacrifices and risks that these brave men and women make everyday to keep our communities safe,” said Alfred University Athletics Director Paul Vecchio.
While at Alfred, Clark was named an All-American. He was later invited to try out a Buffalo Bills camp for unsigned free agents. Clark had previously been a two-time state wrestling champion at Canisteo-Greenwood High School.
However, after giving up on football, Clark turned to law enforcement, He graduated from the New York State Police Academy in 2015.
Kiley, 43, had been listed as a principal in the Bradford Central School District, but as the day went on, information about him was removed from the school’s website, the Elmira Star-Gazette reported.
“Trooper Clark is a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of serving and protecting others. Despite the inherent dangers in today’s society, our troopers have answered — and will continue to answer — the call of duty again and again,” said Thomas H. Mungeer, president of the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo traveled to the area of the shooting and offered prayers for Clark’s family.
“We hope that you find peace in this senseless act of violence,” he said. “There is no reason, there is no point. It just hurts.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.