The State Troopers PBA is thankful that Trooper George Stannard, who was shot last evening, is alive and that his wounds are not considered life-threatening. Trooper Stannard was shot by a muzzle-loading rifle while attempting to disarm a suicidal man. The job of a New York State Trooper is extremely dangerous and unpredictable, as evidenced by this latest incident. We wish Trooper Stannard well in his recovery.
Below is an article from the Press-Republican newspaper of Plattsburgh about the incident.
By KIM SMITH DEDAM
TUPPER LAKE — A state trooper was shot in the hand Thursday night as he tried to stop a man from killing himself.
State Police in Ray Brook reported George M. Stannard, of High Peaks barracks, was shot in the right hand with a muzzle-loading rifle as he struggled to gain control of the firearm from Donald L. McCray, 39, of Ticonderoga.
The incident began on Wednesday, when State Police based in Tupper Lake responded to a 911 suicide call.
Troopers organized a ground and aerial search of several locations around the Village of Tupper Lake looking for McCray.
The search was called off due to lack of investigative leads, the terrain and onset of darkness, police said.
Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers and Tupper Lake police assisted in the search.
On Thursday, efforts to locate McCray resumed, police said.
His car was found on an off-road trail along Coreys Road in Harrietstown, about six miles from the Village of Tupper Lake.
At 7:20 p.m., McCray was found in a lean-to; he fled in a canoe along the Raquette River, police said.
Trooper Stannard and Trooper Dustin E. Fleishman, of Tupper Lake State Police barracks, along with Forest Ranger Julie Harjung, followed McCray in a boat.
McCray made threats to take his own life with a muzzle loader he had in his possession, police said.
Stannard talked to McCray, trying to persuade the man to surrender without hurting himself.
“During that dialog, Trooper Stannard observed Mr. McCray point the muzzle of the weapon away from his head and quickly acted to disarm him with assistance from Trooper Fleishman and Ranger Harjung,” police said in a press release.
“During the struggle for control of the muzzle loader, Trooper Stannard was shot in the hand. Mr. McCray was subsequently disarmed and arrested without injury.”
Stannard was taken by police to Adirondack Medical Center for treatment, then medivaced to Albany Medical Center by State Police helicopter.
The trooper is in good condition, police said this morning, and his injury was not considered life-threatening.
McCray has been charged with one count of second-degree assault.
He was arraigned in Harrietstown Town Court by Justice Thomas Glover.
McCray was ordered held without bail pending a mental-health evaluation.
He is scheduled to reappear in Town Court Sept. 10.