Updated 03/06/2013 07:24 PM
Suspect fatally shot during struggle with trooper
State Police have released the names of the troopers involved in a fatal shooting in the North Country on Tuesday. Officials say Troopers Leston Sheeley and Marcia Pooler were involved in the shooting that killed Richard Aubin, 28. Aubin is accused of leading the troopers on a chase, then trying to grab for Trooper Pooler's gun during a struggle. Our Megan Cruz has more on the investigation.
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NORTH HUDSON, N.Y. -- "A justifiable use of deadly physical force," said Troop B BCI Captain Robert LaFountain.
That's how State Police are describing a Tuesday afternoon shooting in the Town of North Hudson. Authorities say Trooper Leston Sheeley was forced to shoot and kill 28-year-old Richard Aubin of Ausable Forks in Essex County.
"Pepper spray was deployed, but did not have the desired effect on the suspect, who continued resisting and grabbed one of the trooper's [[Trooper Marcia Pooler's]] side arms, attempting to gain control of the weapon. At this point, the second trooper discharged several rounds into the suspect, who died there on scene," LaFountain said.
Captain LaFountain says the shooting took place 75 yards into the woods off of Route 9 near Liberty Road. That's just north of exit 29 on the Northway. But the Captain says troopers first spotted Aubin in the Town of Schroon just 20 minutes earlier.
"At about 5:07 p.m.. a pursuit of a 2005 Chevrolet pickup truck was initiated after the vehicle was clocked speeding southbound on Interstate-87," he said."
The Captain said Aubin sped off down the Northway, crossed into Warren County, got off the highway, then looped north via Route 9 where the police were waiting for him with a spike strip to take out his tires. It forced Aubin to ditch his truck and run into the woods.
"Any time law enforcement has to use deadly physical force, it's regrettable," said LaFountain.
He wouldn't say how long these troopers have been with the State Police.
As for Aubin's background, LaFountain said the 28-year-old has had encounters with police. He's a convicted felon, serving time for assault and criminal possession of a weapon. The Captain said he also has a history of DWI and resisting arrest.
"It is the suspect's actions that determine how we law enforcement must respond," he said.
LaFountain says an internal investigation will continue into this shooting. Investigators are looking into whether the two troopers had tasers and could have used those instead. Both will remain on active duty in the meantime. As for Aubin, an autopsy is scheduled.