Police Officer David W. Smith Johnson City Police Department, New York End of Watch: Monday, March 31, 2014

Police Officer David W. Smith | Johnson City Police Department, New YorkJohnson City Police Department, New York

Police Officer David W. Smith

Johnson City Police Department, New York
End of Watch: Monday, March 31, 2014

Biographical Info

Age: 43
Tour of Duty: 18 years, 6 months
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: March 31, 2014
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Shot and killed

Agency Contact Information

Chief Joseph Zikuski
Johnson City Police Department
31 Avenue C
Johnson City, NY 13790
Phone: (607) 729-9321

Police Officer Dave Smith was shot and killed with his own service weapon after responding to a disturbance call at a business, at 32 Harrison Street, at approximately 7:00 am.
An employee at the business began arguing with other employees and assaulted one of them upon arriving at work. As Officer Smith arrived at the scene the employee ran out of the building waving his arms, and attacked Officer Smith before he was able to exit his patrol car or radio for help. The subject was able to disarm Officer Smith shot him while he was still in the patrol car.
The man then opened fire on a second officer who was arriving at the scene. That officer returned fire, killing the subject.
Officer Smith had served with the Johnson City Police Department for 18-1/2 years. He was survived by his wife and one child.

JOHNSON CITY — Officer David Smith had just started his Monday patrol shift, when at 7:03 a.m., he was dispatched to a disturbance at Southern Tier Imaging on Harrison Street.

Within three minutes, three was a second 911 call of shots fired.

In that time, Smith had pulled up on the scene when he was approached from behind by a man running and yelling with his arms in the air, leaving Southern Tier Imaging. He then who reached into Smith’s vehicle and wrestled away the officer’s 40-caliber duty weapon in a struggle.

Outside the building near the UHS Wilson Medical Center campus, 43-year-old Smith was fatally shot twice with his own duty weapon. He was pronounced dead within an hour.

The suspect, 43-year-old James Clark of Greene, was shot down by another responding officer and died within three hours during surgery.

The village police department, faced with burying a colleague of 18 ½ years, must do so without fully understanding how it came to this, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said with tears in his eyes at a Monday afternoon news conference.

“Officer Smith never even got the opportunity to exit his vehicle,” Zikuski said. “Officer Smith never stood a chance.”

In light of Clark’s death, the incident will not result in a criminal case. But still, Zikuski said, the lack of any motive behind the tragedy is what puzzles investigators most.

Clark, an MRI technician at Southern Tier Imaging since 2005, appeared to be a “model employee,” by all accounts, Zikuski said.

Investigators have found no criminal record apart from a drunken driving arrest 15 years ago, Zikuski said, nor is there any documented history of mental health problems.

“He obviously had some sort of mental breakdown,” Zikuski said of Clark. “Something happened between the time he left home and got to work.”

When he entered the Southern Tier Imaging building for work Monday morning, Clark got into a dispute with fellow employees ,according to police.

At one point, he grabbed a co-worker, shook him and made threats indicating there was a bomb in the building, Zikuski said. That claim, which proved false, would prompt a response by the Endicott Police Bomb Squad to the scene.

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