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NY officer shot, killed pursuing suspect

Associated Press Writer

KIRKLAND, New York- Police were searching Tuesday for a man accused in the shooting death of a police officer in central New York State who was killed while pursuing suspected jewel thieves.

"We're all very shaken, but we're all professionals and we have a job to do," said police Lt. Timothy O'Neill in announcing Monday night's shooting death of 30-year-old officer Joseph Corr, a six-year veteran of the New Hartford Town Police Department.

Police arrested one suspect, John Healy, who faces charges of second-degree murder. A second suspect, identified by police as 36-year-old Walter R. Richardson, remained at large Tuesday and was believed to have fled to Pennsylvania.

O'Neill said Richardson, who police said was the triggerman, was armed and considered "extremely dangerous."

Richardson faces a charge of first-degree murder for killing an officer in the line of duty, said Oneida County District Attorney Michael Arcuri. He added that Healy and Richardson both have "sizable" criminal histories.

Police would not confirm reports that Richardson had abducted an employee of an automotive shop while stealing a pickup truck after the jewel store robbery.

The robbery at the Wilcox jewelry store in New Hartford, just south of Utica in central upstate New York, happened about 8:30 p.m. Monday, police said. Officers arrived on the scene within minutes and began pursuing the suspects' car, which sped down the road for about five miles (eight kilometers) before crashing into a gas pump at a convenience store.

Healy was arrested after the crash, but Richardson fled into a wooded area with Corr in pursuit, O'Neill said. He said Corr was shot once in the neck and was taken to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Utica where he was pronounced dead.

New Hartford police said Healy and Richardson may have been part of a larger operation now being investigated by the FBI that has robbed jewelry stores along the east coast.

O'Neill said Corr, who leaves behind a wife and infant daughter, had received several department commendations for bravery and superior investigative work.

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