Trooper David Brinkerhoff was accidentally shot and killed by another officer during an intense gun battle while taking part in a manhunt for an assailant who had shot and wounded a New York State Trooper the previous day.
On April 24, 2007, a New York State Trooper stopped a stolen vehicle at the Sunoco Country Store located on Main Street in Margaretville. As he approached the vehicle, the suspect opened fire, striking the trooper on his vest, and then fleeing into the woods. Members of the New York State Police, Delaware County Sheriff’s Department, and several other surrounding agencies mobilized to search for the suspect.
The following day, Trooper Brinkerhoff and six members of the Mobile Response Team were searching for the suspect in a home on Cemetery Road in Margaretville after a burglar alarm signal was received by local police. Trooper Brinkerhoff and another trooper entered a room on the second floor of the home when the suspect opened fire, striking him in the chest. That round was deflected by his bullet resistant vest. An intense, close quarters, gun battle ensued between the suspect and four troopers. During that exchange of gunfire, one trooper was wounded by the suspect and Trooper Brinkerhoff was accidentally shot and killed by another trooper. The remaining troopers pulled their fellow officers to safety and withdrew from the house.
Police surrounded the home and after a nine and a half hour standoff police again approached the home, firing tear gas. As they gained entry, the house began to burn, and within minutes was fully engulfed in flames. Police were unable to gain entry into the home due to the fire. After extinguishing the fire, officers found that the suspect has been fatally wounded by Trooper Brinkerhoff in the earlier gun battle and had died.
Trooper Brinkerhoff had served with the New York State Police for 8 1/2 years. He is survived by his wife and seven month old daughter. He was assigned to the Mobile Response Team.