Police: Knife-Wielding Man Shot Dead by Troopers, Ruled 'Suicide by Police'

A Berne man was shot dead by state police after they say he brandished two knives and charged at two troopers late Friday. His death was ruled suicide by police. Jim Vasil has more.

BERNE, N.Y. -- No street lights, no neighbors to speak of, in the pitch black of night, state troopers say they were forced to use leathal force on a double knife-wielding man, Carl Baranishyn Jr., 51.

"My understanding is this subject himself called Albany County 911 and expressed suicidal thoughts, homicidal statements, including two any responding law enforcement," said State Police Major William Keeler.

When troopers arrived at his High Point Road home at around 11:30 Friday night, they saw Baranishyn outside, holding two 3-to-4-inch knives, one in each hand. After Troopers couldn't get him to drop the knives, they say he charged at them. Troopers fired their weapons, shooting him three times from about 10 feet away. First aid did not save him.

Major Keeler says that wasn't even the first time that night Baranishyn called 911: Albany County Sheriff's Officers were dispatched to his home about an hour earlier, though the nature of that call was unknown. No weapons were drawn until the second and final call, when troopers responded.

"It's my understanding that they had tasers, but these situations are so fluid," said Maj. Keeler. "If it was a bright, sunny day and the subject had nothing more than a bathing suit on with the flesh exposed, then great. Most of the time a taser would work under those circumstances."

Clearly, this was not one of those circumstances. In a similar incident in Rotterdam almost two weeks ago, Retired Marine William Clark III, who suffered from mental health problems, slashed a Rotterdam Police sergeant in the face after the sergeant tried to tase him. Officers then shot and killed the 30-year-old man. Major Keeler says he doesn't second-guess those officers, and he supports the decision his Troopers made on Friday.

"In this particular incident I would say that the troopers did the right thing by going right to their firearm," he said.

Major Keeler adds that the troopers involved in the shooting were unharmed and will be given the week off.

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