UPS driver killed when he stops for food; suspect surrenders

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) — A UPS driver who had stopped for something to eat was shot and killed early Thursday on a Wal-Mart parking lot by a motorist who then ran over him and later surrendered to authorities after an hours-long standoff at a nearby home, police and company officials said.

Ithaca Police Chief John Barber said the shooting occurred around 12:50 a.m. outside a 24-hour superstore in the city in upstate New York. The suspect surrendered about nine hours later, and police said they were still trying to determine a motive for the shooting.

Police were withholding the victim’s name pending notification of his family. Barber said the 52-year-old man was from a rural town in neighboring Tioga County, 10 miles south of Ithaca.

Susan Rosenberg, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta-based package delivery company, said the driver was a seasonal employee who had stopped to get something to eat during his overnight shift. She said he was about four weeks into his second stint as a seasonal driver of a tractor-trailer hauling packages between UPS processing hubs.

“We’re very saddened by the situation,” Rosenberg said.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the UPS driver on the pavement and a vehicle fleeing the scene, Barber said. Other police officers spotted a car that matched the description of the vehicle, and attempted to pull the car over. Barber said the driver didn’t stop until reaching a driveway at a home in Dryden, just east of Ithaca.

The suspect exited the vehicle, fired a shot at police and ran into the house, believed to be his own, officials said. No one was hit by the gunfire. No one else was inside the home when the suspect barricaded himself inside, police said.

A police negotiator and SWAT team arrived as officers surrounded the house and evacuated nearby homes. Barber said the suspect surrendered at around 9:45 a.m. after the negotiator spoke with him through a robot the SWAT team inserted into the home.

The suspect’s name hasn’t been released. He was still being questioned and hadn’t been charged, the police chief said.

“The community is a safer place with this man off the streets,” Barber said.

 

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