ALBANY, N.Y. — "Friendly fire apparently killed a New York State trooper as he searched a farmhouse Wednesday for a suspect in the shooting of another trooper the day before, officials said Friday.
Trooper David C. Brinkerhoff, a member of the force's elite mobile response team, or MRT, was shot as he and another trooper went into a farmhouse that was destroyed later in the day by flames during a police assault.
"The fatal wound was made by a .223 tactical round that was believed to have been fired by an MRT member," said acting State Police Superintendent Preston Felton.
"It's our belief he was killed almost instantaneously," he said.
The suspect in the case, 23-year-old Travis Trim, was later found dead with a rifle in the burned shell of the home.
Felton said Brinkerhoff was wearing a Kevlar helmet when he was shot in the back of the head and Trim fired a small caliber round that hit him in the chest but was stopped by his body armor.
"In a firefight such as this, and our members are highly trained, what it appears happened here is that Trooper Brinkerhoff was struck in the chest and was knocked back," Felton said. "Other members came to his aid and started to return fire at the shooter. At some point Trooper Brinkerhoff ended up getting hit by a round. Common? No. They train for that. This was a very volatile situation."
Thank the lord and every lucky star in the heavens that these keystone cops aren't exchanging fire with multiple targets from a shallow fighting hole in the middle of the night while taking RPG and mortar and grenade intrusions being severely outnumbered after being awake for days on end with a last meal but a memory as it comes down to hand to hand. Thank all of the above for them never having to lay down cover fire for friendlys' mere inches from the line of sight. Here's hoping someone, anyone, gets them to practice lots and lots more.
Trim fired a small caliber round into Brinkerhoff, yet Brinkerhoff was knocked back? Brinkerhoff may have JUMPED back, but Brinkerhoff was not KNOCKED back. Don't know what stinks on ice more; the tactics or the make-believe stories concocted for ass-covering purposes. Someone is going to screw the pooch. It happens. When it does, you get down to the bottom of it, admit it, and do everything possible to prevent it from happening again. You DON'T lie about it. That NEVER saves future lives and is the mark of a 3rd rate outfit.