The principal of a rural school shot and killed a New York state trooper who had been summoned to the man’s home by a 911 call early today, authorities said.
The deadly encounter took place sometime after 3:30 a.m. outside Corning on a secluded, dead-end road not far from the Pennsylvania state line, in Steuben County.
The state trooper who was killed, Nicholas Clark, 29, was one of several officers who went to the home of the 43-year-old principal, after the man’s estranged wife had called 911 saying he was suicidal and might be armed, authorities said.
Christopher Fiore, the first deputy superintendent of the New York State Police, identified the man as Steven Kiley, describing him as a school principal.
Fiore said that the troopers and sheriff’s deputies who responded established a perimeter around Kiley’s house on Welch Road in Erwin and brought in crisis negotiators to speak with Kiley, but they “were unable to make contact with the subject.”
“During the course of the response, Trooper Nicholas Clark was shot and killed by the suspect,” Fiore said. Kiley was found dead inside the house “with an apparent gunshot wound,” Fiore said.
Authorities provided few details about the sequence of events on Welch Road, and did not say whether Kiley killed himself or was shot by police.
“After Trooper Clark was hit by gunfire, a deputy sheriff put his own life in danger to pull Trooper Clark to a position of safety,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo told reporters near the State Police station in Painted Post.
Some residents along Welch Road reported receiving an early morning emergency alert that warned them to stay indoors. A resident on the road, who asked not be named, said she and her children saw more than a dozen police vehicles drive by. She also said she saw a coroner’s van pass by.
Clark graduated from the State Police’s Basic School, as their police academy is known, in 2015. He had grown up in Steuben County and had been a star athlete. He went to college in North Carolina on a wrestling scholarship for a year, before returning near home to attend Alfred University, where his mother taught, and to play football, according to a profile in The Evening Tribune, a local newspaper, in 2012. He tried out for the Buffalo Bills.
“This is a terrible loss,” Fiore said.
Kiley worked for the Bradford Central School District, a small rural school district that has about 285 students enrolled, said James Gregory, an outside lawyer whose firm represents the school district. The students, from prekindergarten through the 12th grade, are all on the same campus. Kiley had been their principal since 2016.