ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State Police said Sunday’s officer involved shooting of a mentally ill man was justified.
In the interest of transparency, Rotterdam police asked NYSP to determine if deadly force had been justified when one of their officers fired upon 30-year-old William Clark after he attacked two of them with a knife.
Standing together In a joint press conference on Wednesday, Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney, Rotterdam police and the NYSP said Sunday’s officer involved shooting was justified. They detailed the timeline of events.
On Sunday around noon, two Rotterdam officers alone with along with a Schenectady County deputy responded to a 911 call from the suspect’s mother’s home on Roberta Road. She told the dispatcher that her son was armed with a knife and breaking things in the residence, according to police.
NYSP used witness testimony and audio from the officers’ body microphones to determine Clark did not comply with the officers’ repeated pleas for him to drop his weapon and come out of an interior bedroom. Instead, officials said he lunged at the officers and stabbed one in his Kevlar vest and slashed another Rotterdam officer on his head.
A Taser was deployed but had no effect.
When Clark slashed the other Rotterdam office with the knife, he pulled out his gun.
“They were not obligated to use nonlethal force, but they did,” Rotterdam Police Chief James Hamilton said. “They tried to, you know. It did not incapacitate the individual, so they had no choice.”
Clark was shot four times, according to NYSP. He was struck twice in the chest, once in the head, and one went into the wall of a closet.
The unarmed, injured office was treated and released. He is a 16-year veteran of law enforcement.
Clark was a military veteran with a history of mental illness. It is not clear if his diagnosis included PTSD.
Neighbors said the family that lived in the Roberta Road home just moved in about a week ago.