Police Officer, Gunman and Wife Dead in New York Shooting Melee

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.  -- A man shot a woman to death in a car Friday, then was himself fatally shot minutes later in a struggle with police, including an officer who had taken a 3-year-old from the man and handed the child to a bystander, police said.

One officer, a 20-year veteran, was shot in the head in the melee in a parking lot near the city train station, Poughkeepsie Police Chief Ronald Knapp said. He was in surgery and in critical condition before dying in the evening, police said.

Knapp said it appeared the gunman shot the officer, but it wasn't immediately clear whether he was then killed by police gunfire or if he shot himself. Police didn't say whether the wounded officer was the one who'd taken the child from the man.

The officer's name hasn't been released. Friday evening, a small group of officers gathered at the hospital.

Knapp said he believes the man and woman who were killed were husband and wife and weren't from Poughkeepsie, a city of about 30,000 people about 70 miles south of Albany in New York's Hudson Valley. Their names have not been released.

A second officer suffered minor injuries and a half dozen others were involved, Knapp said.

Officers responded to a report of gunfire at about 1 p.m. and one saw the man leaving the scene with a child in his arms and thought the man had been involved.

When the officer tried to confront him, the man ran away, Knapp said. The officer caught the man, took the child from him and handed the toddler to a bystander. It was during that second confrontation that the 43-year-old officer was shot.

Officials said they didn't know whether the child, who was unhurt and taken by police, is a boy or girl.

Mayor John Tkazyik called it a tragic day for the city.