TOWN OF MANLIUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — New York State Police have identified the man shot and killed by a New York State Trooper on Tuesday.
New York State Police say 61-year-old Kenneth Bennett made threats toward officers and then charged at them with a baseball bat and what they now know is a BB gun.
Trooper Gary Novotny, a three year veteran of NYSP, shot and killed Bennett along Wilson Drive.
Bennett was transported to Upstate University Hospital where he died.
State police say Bennett got into a fight with his sister and another family member that he lives with at 140 Wilson Drive.
Troopers believe Bennett hit his sister with a baseball bat before they arrived.
Bennett’s family called the police and when officers arrived Bennett was acting erratically and was threatening officers.
“He made several threats toward law-enforcement agents. He said he would die before he let police catch him,” said Captain Jeffrey Raub of NYSP. “From the onset, he said police would have to shoot him in the head if they want him. So it became clear to law-enforcement on the scene that this individual was struggling with some kind of mental issues.”
For an hour, New York State Police and other law-enforcement tried to reason with Bennett and get him to calm down.
After having a bat in his hand, he went back into the house to grab what looked like a rifle.
He then charged officers and that is when Trooper Novotny fired a shot and killed him.
State police say Bennett may have been on drugs based on what witnesses said.
Tuesday night, investigators found a “full-blown meth lab” on the second floor of the home where Bennett lived.
Troopers say we won’t know if he was on drugs until tests come back a few weeks from now.
Trooper Novotny is not on leave and is expected to be back at work next week. Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick says his office is investigating this shooting.