(NEW YORK) — The New York Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation has launched an inquiry into the death of two teens after an incident with an Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) official early Wednesday morning, according to state officials.
A sheriff’s deputy responded to a report of “suspicious vehicles” at an intersection in DeWitt, New York, according to a press release from the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
Onondaga Sheriff Tobias Shelley said at a press conference on Wednesday that the vehicles were the same ones allegedly connected to two smoke shop burglaries in Oneida, New York, and there were three people inside each vehicle.
Once the deputy arrived on the scene and discovered the two vehicles, one of them fled, the attorney general’s office said.
The OCSO deputy fired his gun as the other vehicle drove away, according to the attorney general’s office. Shelley said the vehicle had attempted to run the deputy over.
The deputy was not injured during the incident, Shelley said.
That vehicle was later found in Syracuse, New York, after fleeing the area, with two people inside, the attorney general’s office said. One person was pronounced dead on the scene, while the other individual was sent to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
The two people who died were teenagers, according to Shelley. He did not identify the teens nor provide their specific ages. The sheriff’s deputy was wearing a body camera but it wasn’t turned on, Shelley said, adding that the deputy did not have time to turn on the device. The person who called authorities about the suspicious vehicles took a video of the incident, according to Shelley.
The third person inside the vehicle hasn’t been found, as well as the three other people in the first vehicle that fled the scene, according to Shelley. An investigation into the incident is ongoing. Under New York state law, any death caused by a law enforcement official, whether on-duty or off-duty, must be investigated by the state’s office of special investigation.
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