Binghamton Police outline new information about the Christmas morning shooting on the Memorial Bridge and the man who was killed. Tamara Lindstrom has the latest.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- It started with a report of an attempted home invasion robbery and ended with an officer shot and a suspect dead.
Officers were called to Livingston Street around 2:30 on Christmas morning. Following footprints in the snow, they found two suspects.
"She gets out of the car a little bit ahead of these individuals and says, 'Do me a favor fellas and put your hands up.' They both put their hands up and very shortly thereafter, the deceased puts his hands down," said Binghamton Police Chief Joseph Zikusky.
Police say 20-year-old Roberto Garcia opened fire on the officer.
"He comes out with a gun, fires from a .38 caliber two rounds, straight at her face and strikes her in the ear, taking a chunk out of her ear," Zikusky said. "At that point, the deceased takes off running, firing over his head. He had a .38 revolver. There were six spent shells in that gun, indicating that he fired all six rounds from that weapon."
Police returned fire and the suspect was shot three times.
A Binghamton resident who immigrated from Cuba at age four, Garcia had racked up seven misdemeanor arrests in the last year and a half. U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement tried to deport him earlier this year, but Cuba wouldn't take him. Garcia was released from federal prison on November 2nd.
Police say he was out trying to collect money someone owed him for drugs Tuesday morning before the shooting. And while two of his wounds were considered fatal, one may not have come from a police weapon.
"Now interestingly enough, found in his hood was a round, a spent round, not a full bullet, from a weapon that is not ours. So at this point, Dr. Terzian is going to see if he can find any blood matter, but as the deceased was running, firing, we believe he shot himself in the head," Zikusky said.
Zikusky says the six second shootout could have gone much worse.
"We're lucky she's with us," he said of the officer. "The distance was closer than you and I, right at her face. And it hit her ear instead, went off to the right."
Instead, the officer is recovering and is expected to return to full duty.
The names of the officers are not being released due to death threats they've received. The second suspect with Garcia was questioned and released.
The radio transmission of an officer involved shooting in Binghamton has been released. You can hear that entire call below.
CNY/NNY/S. Tier: New details on Binghamton shooting
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