On Jan. 28, a New York State Trooper, Timothy S. Conklin, a 28-year veteran, was shot while pursuing Nicholas P. Philhower, age 30, on an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle complaint.
According to State Police reports,Philhower had taken his mother’s motor vehicle without her permission and she requested he be located and arrested. At approximately 6:20 p.m., Trooper Conklin observed the suspect vehicle traveling west on State Route 17 in the Town of Kirkwood.
Philhower observed Trooper Conklin approaching and took evasive action, traveling through the median at the intersection with Interstate 81, and then onto State Route 17 east bound, coming to a stop shortly thereafter. At that point Philhower, who was armed with a military style semi-automatic rifle, immediately opened fire on Trooper Conklin through the rear window of the vehicle.
Trooper Conklin returned fire through the windshield of his troop car as Philhower exited his vehicle and continued to advance and fire upon the trooper. Trooper Conklin was able to reload his weapon, exit the troop car and continue to exchange fire with his attacker. During this exchange, Philhower was struck several times and died at the scene.
Trooper Conklin sustained a minor shrapnel injury to his upper right arm and was taken to Wilson Hospital in Johnson City where he was treated and released.
The Broome County Coroner released Philhower’s body to Lourdes Hospital for autopsy. Broome County District Attorney Stephen Cornwall responded to scene. The New York State Police were provided assistance from members of the State Department of Transportation, The Five Mile Point Volunteer Fire Department, the Broome County Office of Emergency Management, and Superior Ambulance.
The investigation is on-going with troopers and investigators interviewing multiple witnesses and executing search warrants on the suspect’s vehicle and residence.