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Old November 29, 2002, 08:52 AM   #1
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Join Date: December 20, 1998
Location: NE Pennsylvania
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Suicide by Cop in my 'hood

This one is too close to home. A few blocks away on thanksgiving day!,2016717.story

Police Kill Armed Man in Domestic Call
By J. Jioni Palmer and Andrew Smith

November 29, 2002

Suffolk police shot and killed a West Islip man on a Lindenhurst street yesterday after he fired a shotgun near officers who responded to a call for help from the man's former girlfriend, police said.
Christopher Burgess, 20, had a history of psychiatric problems and police had responded to several previous domestic disturbance incidents involving Burgess and the former girlfriend, said Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Homicide Squad.
Fitzpatrick said Burgess had called his former girlfriend, identified by neighbors and police as Dana Hauser, at 2:45 p.m. to say he was coming over. The 19-year-old woman called police, and six officers arrived at her house before Burgess did.
When Burgess arrived, he walked toward the officers. Fitzpatrick said he had a shotgun and that police ordered him to drop it. Instead, he fired at least once, Fitzpatrick said. He would not say if Burgess was aiming at the officers.
Fitzpatrick said investigators are trying to determine which of the officers fired at Burgess. He would not name any of the officers, saying the case is still under investigation.
A man who answered the phone at the Hauser home last night declined to comment. Burgess' family also declined to comment. Fitzpatrick said Burgess lived with his father.
His body remained in the middle of the street for several hours, covered by a yellow cloth. At least a dozen evidence cones, often used to mark where shell casings are found, dotted both sides of the block-long street.
Neighbors said Hauser and Burgess had ended a relationship about a year ago, but that he continued to come to her house. He once told Hauser's father he was going to kill himself, said one neighbor, who did not want to be identified.
Dominic Forletta, 37, said he was visiting his parents, whose house is behind the Hausers'. He said he was watching television about 3 p.m. when he heard "what sounded like a bunch of pots and pans being dropped."
Forletta said he and his family went into their backyard and could see a man lying in the street, holding a shotgun.

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Old November 29, 2002, 09:42 PM   #2
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Looks like the PD shot first:,585547.story

Probe Continues in Shooting by Police
By Pat Burson and Daphne Sashin
Staff Writers

November 30, 2002

Suffolk police are still trying to sort out the circumstances surrounding a Thanksgiving Day shooting in which officers killed a West Islip man on a Lindenhurst street after they say he pointed a shotgun at them.

Police had conflicting details and witness accounts of the incident, but said Friday initial reports that Christopher Burgess, 20, fired his weapon at police before being shot and killed by them were wrong.

"There were some neighbors saying they heard the shotgun before the police firing,” Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Homicide Squad, said Friday. "The neighbors are wrong. The police fired first after he pointed the shotgun at them.”

Fitzpatrick said eight officers responded to the home of Burgess' ex-girlfriend, Dana Hauser, after she reported that he had called about 2:30 p.m. Thursday and said he was coming over to kill her new boyfriend.

Shortly after police arrived, Burgess pulled up in his car, got out brandishing a shotgun and started walking toward six of the eight officers who had responded to the scene, Fitzpatrick said. They ordered him repeatedly to drop the weapon, Fitzpatrick said, but he wouldn't comply.

Police said Burgess' weapon discharged after he was shot and fell to the ground. "Some people see him put the shotgun to his head or under his chin and then he takes that gun and points it at the police again,” Fitzpatrick said. "His gun goes off, pretty much in the air.”

Police describe Burgess as a young man with a history of mental problems and say they have responded to several previous domestic disturbance incidents involving him and Hauser, 20.

Investigators continued to comb the scene for shell casings and other evidence Friday. Squad cars blocked off Hauser's street as the probe continued.

When police complete their investigation, Fitzpatrick said, they will report their findings to the district attorney's office, which would then turn them over to a grand jury to determine if the shooting was legally justified.

As for the officers, Fitzpatrick said police procedure calls for their assignments to be modified until their commanding officer determines their fitness to return to work. However, he said he did not know the fate of the officers in this case.

Meanwhile, Hauser's next-door neighbors, Linda and Raymond Bauer, and their 9-year-old daughter, Lindsay, tried to regroup Friday after the ordeal . They said they were preparing to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner about 3 p.m. when the incident happened.

Linda Bauer, who described the Hausers as "very nice people” and their daughter as "a beautiful young lady,” said she stepped onto the back stoop after her husband said he noticed several police cars outside.

"I was going to ask the police what was going on,” she said. "When the shooting started, I ran back in and yelled to Lindsay, ‘There's shooting! Get down on the floor!'” Frightened, they huddled in an interior hallway until it was quiet outside.

Friday, Bauer said she recalled hearing at least two shots from a shotgun during the confrontation between Burgess and police. "I put myself in the cops' shoes,” she said. "You do what you've got to do to save your own life.”

A man who answered the phone Friday at the Hauser residence declined to comment.

In West Islip, no one answered the door at the tan ranch-style home where Burgess lived with his parents.

A neighbor across the street, who said he was a close friend of the family, said Burgess was "an excellent kid” about to go into business with his father.

"Him calling the house was a sign of him not wanting to hurt anybody,” said the neighbor, who did not want to give his name. "If he wanted to hurt anyone, he wouldn't have called.”

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