Grand jury clears Trooper

The State Troopers PBA is pleased that a grand jury has cleared Trooper Amanda Reif in the shooting of a suspect who shot and wounded her as she was responding to a domestic disturbance. Trooper Reif is a hero who defended not only her own life, but also the lives of other law enforcement officers, and she came too close to losing her life that day.

The entire State Troopers PBA family wishes Trooper Reif the best in her recovery.

Below is an article from the Associated Press news service about the grand jury’s clearing of Trooper Reif.

CANTON, N.Y. (AP) _ A grand jury has cleared a state trooper of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of a 45-year-old man who wounded her as she was investigating a domestic dispute, according to state police.

Trooper Amanda Reif, 29, of Canton, was shot in the shoulder June 18 by Steven McUmber as she walked up to the house where he was staying. Backup units arrived and police ordered McUmber to get down on the ground as he emerged from the house. But when he got up "in an aggressive state" and ran toward the troopers, the wounded Reif shot and killed him. Reif, a five-year veteran, had just recently returned from maternity leave.

State Police Superintendent Preston Felton said shortly after the shooting that Reif shot McUmber as he ran toward the other officers and a state police internal investigation found the death a "justifiable homicide." But witness accounts differed, which prompted the review by a St. Lawrence County grand jury.

Capt. David Chauvin, state police zone commander, applauded their scrutiny.

"I think it’s a good idea. You do have a homicide," he said. "It’s better for people to review that to see if it was done properly or not done properly. They need to hear witnesses to decide for themselves whether she did the right thing."

Chauvin never doubted the grand jury would exonerate Reif.

"From what I have seen in the case, I thought that everyone would see it the way I would," he said.

Denise Barstow said the family was relieved the grand jury decided not to indict her daughter.

"As a mother, my feeling is she did the right thing."

Reif has had to return to the hospital half a dozen times for treatment of her wounds and it may be six months before she can return to duty, said her grandfather, Robert Barstow.