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Archive for Saturday, September 2, 2006

Jail escapee suspected in shooting of troopers

September 2, 2006

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— Two state troopers staking out the home of an escaped convict's ex-girlfriend were shot in an ambush, and authorities Friday were searching the surrounding area for the fugitive.

Neither trooper saw the suspect when they were shot Thursday evening, and neither returned fire, but one was able to radio for help, State Police Supt. Wayne Bennett said. Both officers were hospitalized in critical condition.

Police think the gunman was Ralph "Bucky" Phillips, who escaped from jail in April and may be traveling between Pennsylvania and western New York, Bennett said. Since his escape, he has been suspected in the wounding of another state trooper, numerous burglaries and the theft of firearms from a gun shop.

Officers Joseph Longobardo, 32, and Donald Baker Jr., 38, each were shot once with a high-powered rifle in woods behind the isolated hilltop home of Phillips' ex-girlfriend, Kasey Crowe, in the rural western New York town of Pomfret.

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