Updated 10/04/2011 10:21 PM
Man kills one in car crash after high speed chase
Police are still trying to put the pieces together after a robbery at a local department store results in a deadly high speed chase. Our Amanda Kelley tells explains why their suspect may be responsible for a string of other crimes in Jefferson County.
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, N.Y. -- "This is a horrid tragedy, " New York State Police Senior Investigator Michael Pastuf said.
One woman was killed, three others injured, including a Syracuse and a Watertown police officer. It all beginning with a purse snatching at Kohl's in the Town of Watertown.
Pastuf said, "This thing is initiated by the actions of Mr. Morgia when he takes it upon himself to commit a robbery of an 84-year-old woman who's trying to go shopping."
Suspect Francis Morgia took off on an extensive high speed chase during the peak of rush-hour Monday. Glenn Park's Police Chief led the pursuit.
Across Jefferson County scanners, police were heard trying to track down Morgia.
"He's entering the city I'm trying to catch him I got lost in traffic. Excess of 110," said Glenn Park Police Chief across the scanner.
"Copy. Excess of 110, city has been advised," Jefferson County 911 dispatch replied.
Pastuf said, "The information that he ways conveying to other patrols, to other responding patrols during this pursuit was spot on. Anybody responding to this knew exactly what we were coming into."
But Morgia crashed into another vehicle, killing Shirley Hammond, 75, who was on the way home from her sister's funeral. Three others were in the car, including the two off duty officers. They were all injured.
Now with Morgia in custody, police are canvassing the areas of Route 12 and 342 where the high speed chase ended and the fatal crash occurred. They're looking for anyone that witnessed the events Monday evening. But they're also looking to possibly link Morgia to several other local crimes.
"We have other similarly reported cases in reference to larcenies of purses by force or larcenies out of let's say shopping carts," said Pastuf.
Up to ten purse snatchings have occurred in local stores, including stores in the Price Chopper Plaza, K-Mart, Kohl's, TJ Maxx and more. Pastuf says they're all crimes of opportunity and believes Morgia is the prime suspect in all of these cases.
Pastuf said, "Right now, common sense and police experience tells me I've got to look very hard at Mr. Morgia and develop those cases individually to link him to those crimes."
And anyone who can provide more information is asked to give the State Police a call.
Morgia is scheduled to be arraigned in the Town of Pamelia Court Wednesday morning. He faces multiple charges, including manslaughter in the second degree.