Shots Fired in Albany After Short Pursuit

Shots Fired in Albany After Short Pursuit

( – A police officer was shot in Albany, NY while trying to perform a traffic stop on April 17.

The incident occurred at about 12:30am. The officer, identified as Jonathan Damphier, attempted to pull a vehicle over for speeding. However, the driver, Amiel Layeni, fled and the officer ended the pursuit shortly after it started.

The officer found the SUV parked alongside a nearby road shortly after. He walked up to investigate but was ambushed by the driver when he was about five feet from the vehicle. One of its doors was already open. The driver had already left the car and opened fire twice. The officer suffered a shot to the leg during the encounter. Previously, news outlets indicated that the officer killed the suspect, but more recent reports say Layeni turned his gun on himself and ended his own life.

The officer was rushed to the hospital. He was conscious and appeared to be of sound mind. Kathy Sheehan, the mayor of Albany, even said she had a chance to speak with the officer. She also said in a news conference that the suspect is “somebody with a troubled history, not necessarily a criminal history.”

Eric Hawkins, Albany’s police chief, said he had a chance to review the bodycam footage. In it, he said that it was clearly an ambush.

Over 370 police officers were shot in 2023, marking a new record. Forty-six of those officers died and 138 of those incidents resulted from ambushes. The Fraternal Order of Police called the numbers “unsustainable.”

Patric Yoes, the group’s national president, said it’s making people more hesitant to work as police officers, contributing to a recruitment and retention crisis. He supports the Protect and Serve Act, a bill that creates new offenses for anyone who intentionally assaults and injures a police officer.

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