New Hartford, NY - Officer Shot
New Hartford police said they are looking for Philadelphia-area resident Walter R. Richardson, the man they believe shot and killed an Oneida County police officer Monday night.
Richardson, 36, and John T. Healy, 46, are suspects in a jewelry store robbery in New Hartford Monday night that ended in a police chase and the death of New Hartford police officer Joseph Corr, 30. Authorities said the pair may be linked to a crime ring that has robbed stores up and down the East Coast.
Police arrested Healy after the suspects' car crashed into the Kirkland Byrne Dairy, but Richardson eluded police. Authorities followed a trail of blood down the road to Kirkland Automotive, where a tow truck driver was kidnapped and forced to drive a man believed to be Richardson to Bethlehem, Pa., said shop owner Bob Suskie. Police believe Richardson is in the Philadelphia area now.
Healy is charged with second-degree murder and was arraigned in town court this afternoon.
A break in the case occurred around 10:15 a.m. today when Emergency 911 dispatchers reported that the red tow truck believed stolen from Kirland Automotive had been found in Pennsylvania.
“We’re all very shaken, but we’re all professionals and we have a job to do,” police Lt. Timothy O’Neill said, according to the Associated Press. “We’re going to find him and bring him to the justice system to face the consequences of what he’s done.”
The robbery at the Wilcox jewelry store in New Hartford, just south of Utica, happened about 8:30 p.m., police said. Officers arrived on the scene within minutes and began pursuing the suspects’ Buick Regal, which sped down Route 5 for about three miles before crashing into a gas pump at the Byrne Dairy convenience store on Route 5 in Kirkland.
Healy was arrested at the crash scene while Richardson fled on foot, police said. Corr was shot in the neck while chasing Richardson, authorities said.
Corr’s survivors include his wife and infant daughter, his parents and two sisters.