Police: Autopsy reveals cause of death for Albany County man to be ‘suicide by police’

BERNE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It has been a very busy month for law enforcement in the Capital Region. In April alone, we have had three officer involved shootings where the subject was killed.

Friday night the third one happened up in Berne, when police said a man called 911 making homicidal and suicidal statements.

“It was pitch black. It was a moonless, cloudy night and there was no artificial lighting. This is the Albany Hill Towns,” said Major William Keeler of the NY State Police.

Officers said Baranishyn called 911 around 11:30 p.m. and made homicidal and suicidal statements. Two Troopers responded to 12 High Point Rd. in the Town of Berne.

When Troopers pulled up, they saw Baranishyn walking along the road carrying a knife in both hands. When officers told Baranishyn to drop the knives repeatedly, he did not listen and continued to aggressively approach the Troopers.

Both Troopers shot at Baranishyn and hit him multiple times. The Troopers immediately began first aid, including using an Automated External Defibrillator to try and restart his heart, until the Helderberg Rescue Squad got there.

Continued emergency treatment was unsuccessful and Baranishyn passed away due to his injuries.

In a press conference earlier Saturday afternoon, State Police explained why a Taser wasn’t used over a gun to stop Baranishyn.

“So, given the circumstances it probably would not have been wise to give the subject a chance as he was approaching them with a knife to try out the Taser,” said Keeler.

Just last week, a Troy Police Officer shot and killed 38-year-old Edson Thevenin after they said he tried to run over an officer after driving away from a traffic stop.

Three weeks ago in Rotterdam, 30-year-old William Clark was shot and killed at his home on Roberta Rd. after he allegedly cut an officer on the forehead with a knife. Because of that, Major Bill Keeler said the Troopers that responded to Baranishyn’ s call Friday night made the safest decision.

“They afforded the subject ample opportunity to surrender and drop his knife, that didn’t work out so well either for the officers who were stabbed and could have been hurt a lot more seriously. In this particular incident, I would say the troopers did the right thing by going to their fire arm,” said Keeler.

Police also said in the press conference that suicide by police officer could be a likely motive given that Baranishyn was already making those sorts of statements when he first called 911.

State Police and the Albany County DA are continuing the investigation.


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