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  • Ambushed NYS Trooper dies

    To the family of Trooper Longobardo, the thoughts and prayers of Lewiston Fire Co. No. 2 are with you. To the NYSP we join you in your sorrow, and support you in your efforts to bring this murderer to justice.


    Ambushed trooper dies


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    PHILLIPS STILL PRIME SUSPECT

    By ROBERT J. McCARTHY,
    MAKI BECKER and JAY REY,
    NEWS STAFF REPORTERS
    9/4/2006



    Trooper Joseph A. Longobardo leaves behind a wife and 13-month-old son.

    Massive manhunt takes on a new urgency
    The search for the sniper who shot Trooper Joseph A. Longobardo took on a new urgency Sunday afternoon.

    The massive manhunt now seeks a cop killer.

    Longobardo, 32, a husband and father of a 13-month-old son, died Sunday afternoon in Erie County Medical Center. And escaped convict Ralph "Bucky" Phillips remains the prime suspect in Thursday's ambush-style shooting.

    Doctors at the Buffalo hospital had battled day and night to try to save the life of the respected member of the elite Mobile Response Team but faced staggering odds from the beginning.

    Thursday evening, a round from a high-powered semiautomatic rifle had blasted through Longobardo's left thigh, severely damaging a major artery.

    Longobardo underwent at least two surgeries and received more than 100 pints of blood as doctors tried to stop the relentless hemorrhaging.

    Saturday, they were forced to amputate his leg. Overnight, he went into cardiac arrest twice.

    He died at 3:35 p.m. Sunday.

    A second trooper, Donald H. Baker Jr., was also shot in the same attack. He remains hospitalized in Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa., and his condition has been upgraded to serious.

    News of Longobardo's death quickly spread among the hundreds of troopers, federal agents and other local law enforcement who had gathered in Chautauqua County since the Thursday shootings.

    The news was officially announced at 7:45 p.m. by State Police Superintendent Wayne E. Bennett, who told a news conference at Fredonia High School that Sunday had been "a very, very difficult day."

    Then, Bennett said that the resolve to catch Phillips, who has spent most of his five months on the lam in his native Chautauqua County, is now even stronger.

    "We will bring whatever resources we need to get this job done," he said. "This person . . . has to be stopped."

    When asked if he hopes Phillips receives the news of Longobardo's death, the superintendent replied in blunt terms.

    "You bet your life I do, because I think he's responsible for killing him," said Bennett, adding that he hopes Phillips continues to "keep looking over his shoulder, and to know he can run but can't hide."

    Bennett said new resources and manpower continue to aid in the search led by state troopers. He said he has asked for the assistance of the Rochester Police Department's SWAT team and today will contact the New York Police Department in an effort to tap its extensive resources.

    He said that help is sought in addition to that already provided by the Buffalo Police Department, Jamestown Police Department and several sheriff's departments and other state and federal agencies.

    He also said there is no question that Phillips remains dangerous, urging the public to call with any potential sightings or suspicions.

    "We will follow up on each and every lead, even if they are anonymous," the superintendent said, adding searchers continue to believe Phillips remains in the Town of Pomfret area.

    "For whatever reason, he doesn't choose to leave," Bennett said. "We still feel his level of comfort is here locally."

    Meanwhile, fellow troopers were reacting with sadness and anger. Daniel M. De Federicis, a Buffalo native who is president of the Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers, said he views Phillips as a "terrorist and assassin."

    "I am asking Mr. Phillips to end this and just turn himself in," he said. "If he has any shred of decency left, and for the sake of his family and the community, he should turn himself in."

    De Federicis said the strain on troopers involved in the search for Phillips is overwhelming, especially since Phillips is armed with high-powered weapons that he has allegedly already used to ambush with surprise.

    "We are in harm's way, that's the reality of our job," he said in a telephone interview Sunday evening, noting that three state troopers have died in the line of duty so far this year as well as one in combat with the military in Iraq.

    "This tragedy is not over," he said. "This is the most tragic set of circumstances that we've ever dealt with," De Federicis said.

    Others close to Longobardo began remembering a man described as quiet, capable and dedicated. Detective Lt. Tom DiMezza of the Amsterdam Police Department said he taught Longobardo as a substitute teacher in middle school in the victim's native Amsterdam, Montgomery County.

    "He was just such a nice, young man," he said. "If you met him one moment, you'd like him the next. He was just that type of kid."

    Longobardo, an eight-year State Police veteran, was also a technical sergeant in the New York Air National Guard base in Scotia, Schenectady County. He was assigned to the Wilton substation in Saratoga County, and lived with his wife, Terry, and son, Louis, in Ballston Spa, also in Saratoga County.

    Gov. George E. Pataki issued a statement late Sunday night calling Longobardo's death a "painful reminder of the great risks our state troopers face each and every day."

    ". . . Longobardo epitomized the professionalism, courage and compassion that have become the hallmarks of the New York State Police and we are profoundly inspired by his sacrifice," the governor said.

    Phillips escaped April 2 from Erie County's Alden Correctional Facility after slowly cutting through a kitchen tile with a can opener.

    Authorities also suspect he shot a state trooper in June near Elmira, after the trooper pulled him over for a traffic stop. Trooper Sean Brown survived the shot to his stomach and is recuperating.


    e-mail: [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected]
    Last edited by Lewiston2Capt; 09-06-2006, 11:10 AM.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

  • #2
    Prayers out to his family in there time of need, RIP BROTHER.
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    ------GOD BLESS AMERICA ! ------

    Comment


    • #3
      My condolences go out to Trooper Longobardo's family and the NY State PD.
      ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
      Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

      Comment


      • #4
        Heartfelt prayers.....to a son who will never know his Dad.
        If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

        "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

        "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

        Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

        impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

        IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

        Comment


        • #5
          My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Trooper Longobardo. Rest in Peace.

          PKFPD
          IACOJ and proud of it


          Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

          Comment


          • #6
            Rest in peace, Gray Rider. Your sacrifice is not in vain.

            Comment


            • #7
              From the Amsterdam Fire Department

              Our condolences to Trooper Longobardo's family and the NYSP........Thank for protecting
              IACOJ Membership 2002
              {15}

              Mike IAFF

              The beatings will continue until the morale improves

              Comment


              • #8
                RIP Officer Thanks for protecting NYS
                Firefighter for Vestal 32-2

                American Red Cross Volunteer

                Comment


                • #9
                  RIP Trooper Longobardo. May God watch over his family and his fellow troopers in this tough time.
                  Last edited by NYSmokey; 09-06-2006, 08:17 PM.
                  Tom

                  Never Forget 9-11-2001

                  Stay safe out there!

                  IACOJ Member

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