Police officer shot and killed in Broome County
Mon, 31 Mar 2014 14:25:13 GMT —
An 18-and-a-half year veteran of the Johnson City Police Department was shot and killed after responding to a disturbance call at Southern Tier Imaging on Harrison Street.
43-year-old James Clark, of Greene, NY, was an MRI technician at Southern Tier Imaging. His co-workers say he was acting erractically and talked about "bombs in the building" when he arrived at work before 7:00 am Monday.
43-year-old Officer David Smith responded to the call. According to police, witnesses say Clark yelled something incoherent and was waving his arms and running toward Smith.
Witnesses say Clark attacked Officer Smith before he could get out of his police cruiser. The two wrestled, during which Clark was able to get Officer Smith's gun away from him. Police say Clark shot Officer Smith once at close range, and then twice more when he was on the ground. Clark then fired at responding officers, but did not hit any.
The other responding officers shot at Clark, taking him down. He was pronounced dead at 10:22 am.
Johnson City Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Clark had one DWI charge from "15 or 20 years ago" but otherwise had a clean record.
Clark's wife and children say he was acting normally when he left his home in Greene this morning. Chief Zikuski says he believes something changed in Clark on his trip to work, and that he became "very unstable".
Police will search Clark's home computer to try and find out more about him.
Officer Smith was married with one child. Johnson City Police say they will share funeral arrangement information when they have it.
Bomb Squads searched Southern Tier Imaging and nearby buildings for explosives, but did not find any.