State Attorney General’s Office investigates death of man who killed police officers

NEW YORK CITY (WSYR-TV) — The State Attorney General’s Office quietly opened an investigation into the death of the man who shot and killed two police officers last month outside his home in the Town of Salina.

The investigation was formally announced on April 29 by a press release posted to the agency’s website. NewsChannel 9 never received an email with the announcement, as has been the case with previous investigations.

The investigation isn’t surprising, as New York State Executive Law requires the Attorney General’s review of any death caused by an interaction with police.

Christopher Murphy was shot and killed by police after he fired at them, killing Syracuse Police Officer Michael Jensen and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Michael Hoosock.

Fallen Heroes

Using an AR-15, Murphy shot and killed Hoosock from the back of his house, before moving through the inside to the front and aiming at Syracuse Police toward the road.

The Attorney General has jurisdiction over the civilian death, not the officers’ death. Often times, these reports will offer suggestions for de-escalating dangerous encounters.

A rough average calculated by NewsChannel 9 shows these investigations can take approximately one year to complete.

The Syracuse Police Department and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office are still conducting a joint investigation in cooperation with the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office. The results could determine the gunman’s motive, his source for guns and drugs and any tactical changes the departments could make for officer safety in the future.

Press release from State Attorney General

Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation Opens Investigation into Civilian Death in Onondaga County

NEW YORK – The New York Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) has opened an investigation into the death of Christopher Murphy, who died on April 14, 2024 following an encounter with members of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) and the Syracuse Police Department (SPD).

On the evening of April 14, officers with OSCO and SPD responded to 4945 Darien Drive in Salina to follow-up on information related to traffic violations that had occurred earlier that evening by a vehicle registered to Mr. Murphy. Moments after the SPD officers arrived on scene, Mr. Murphy, armed with an AR-15, came outside and allegedly began firing at the SPD officers. During the ensuing exchange of gunfire between the officers and Mr. Murphy, one SPD Officer and Mr. Murphy were both shot.

Following the encounter, officers found an OCSO lieutenant unresponsive in the backyard of the neighboring property with gunshot wounds to his upper body. The Lieutenant, one SPD Officer, and Mr. Murphy were transported to a local hospital, where they were pronounced dead. Officers recovered an AR-15 at the scene. 

Pursuant to New York State Executive Law Section 70-b, OSI assesses every incident reported to it where a police officer or a peace officer, including a corrections officer, may have caused the death of a person by an act or omission. Under the law, the officer may be on-duty or off-duty, and the decedent may be armed or unarmed. Also, the decedent may or may not be in custody or incarcerated. If OSI’s assessment indicates an officer may have caused the death, OSI proceeds to conduct a full investigation of the incident. 

These are preliminary facts and subject to change.  

– Announcement by State Attorney General’s Office

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