Update! The shitbag who killed Officer Corr died in a shootout with authorities in Philadelphia.
Wednesday, Mar 1, 2006
The man police believe shot and killed New Hartford Police Officer Joseph Corr died in a shootout with local police and federal agents in a Philadelphia suburb late Tuesday, police said.
Walter R. Richardson, 36, of Upper Darby, Pa., barricaded himself inside a rowhouse in Chester, Pa., and began shooting at officers who had surrounded the home before being killed, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported early today. The confrontation occurred about 10:30 p.m. on the 800 block of McDonald Street in Chester as officers from the U.S. Marshals Office, Pennsylvania state police, Chester Police and Delaware County converged on the house.
Richardson had been the subject of a two-state manhunt following Corr's slaying behind the Byrne Dairy in Kirkland Monday evening. Earlier Tuesday, Upper Darby, Pa., police raided Richardson's home and said they might have just missed him, finding television sets on and his coat in the house.
Richardson might have been part of a group that federal investigators think was responsible for several Philadelphia-area jewelry heists, the Inquirer reported. Corr's death followed a robbery Monday night at Lennon's-W.B. Wilcox jewelers in New Hartford.
Corr worked as a New Hartford police officer for six years and leaves behind a wife, infant daughter and grieving colleagues. Law-enforcement officials from throughout the state are expected to attend funeral services at 12:30 p.m. Friday at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in New Hartford.
"It's my worst nightmare. It was the worst night of my life," said New Hartford Police Chief Raymond Philo, fighting back tears in an interview Tuesday night. "But it's not about me. These officers, they can't see me falter."
In Tuesday night's shootout in Chester, a U.S. Marshals agent was injured but not seriously because he was wearing a bullet-resistant vest. Richardson was identified as the dead man by officers and by people at the scene, the Inquirer reported.
Tisa Smith, 26, of Chester said she was a close family friend of Richardson. She drove to the Chester shooting scene after she heard from the suspect's family about the fatal confrontation.
"He's a good person," Smith said. "He's a great person. He was loved by a lot of people. I don't know him going out like this. He would do anything for you."
Dozens of local, state and federal law-enforcement officials continued to surround the house early today as neighbors stood on the sidewalk and watched.
A second man, John T. Healy, 46, of the Bronx, is in Oneida County jail on a second-degree murder charge in connection with Corr's slaying. He was arrested Monday night in a foot chase after a vehicle pursuit from the jewelry store robbery.
Corr was among several New Hartford and Kirkland police officers engaged in a foot pursuit of the robbery suspects. The suspects ditched their vehicle after crashing it into the Byrne Dairy convenience store's gasoline pumps.
Officials believe that after Corr was shot, Richardson carjacked a tow truck in Kirkland, taking the driver hostage. He allegedly abandoned both the truck and driver after he reached the Chester exit of I-95, KYW-TV in Philadelphia reported.
"The guy's a dangerous guy, he's on the run, so he's capable of doing anything. He's like a cornered rat," Chief Michael Chitwood of the Upper Darby Police told KYW before the Chester shootout occurred.
Chitwood said that Richardson might have fled the home at 7062 Ruskin Lane in Upper Darby shortly before S.W.A.T. teams raided the Upper Darby residence.
"Two TVs were on upstairs, there was a man's coat that probably belonged to the suspect," he said.
Chitwood said he believes Richardson became spooked when his girlfriend never showed up. She had been picked up by Havertown, Pa., police earlier in the day.
Local, state and federal police agencies had been working around the clock since Corr was shot to death Monday night.
Dozens of officers spent the frigid night after the killing seeking clues across central Oneida County. By daylight Tuesday, the focus had shifted to Pennsylvania.
At a packed news conference at midafternoonTuesday, New Hartford police announced their chief suspect in the shooting was Richardson. How Richardson and Healy came to be in New Hartford was not made clear.
Hundreds of law-enforcement personnel ranging from state parks officers to the FBI joined in the search for Richardson -- the focus of one of the highest- profile investigations locally since the abduction of 12-year-old Sara Anne Wood 13 years ago.
Authorities offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of Richardson and any other individuals responsible for Corr's death.
In an interesting connection, the Chief of the town this lowlife was killed in, Michael Chitwood, was the former police chief for Portland, Maine, one of my hometowns. He moved down to PA a few months back.
Glad to see this piece of shit was killed.