Police: Man fatally shot after pointing BB gun at trooper

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A central New York man accused of pointing a BB gun at state troopers during a domestic disturbance was fatally shot, state police announced Wednesday.

Kenneth Bennett, 61, of Manlius, was shot and killed by troopers responding to a call about an argument between him and his family members, police said.

Capt. Jeffrey Raub said Bennett was pointing a long gun, later determined to be a a Daisy lever-action BB gun, at state police Tuesday when he was shot by Trooper Gary Novotny.

Bennett's niece had called 911 after an argument with his family resulted in him assaulting his sister with a baseball bat, Raub said.

During the call, officials says Bennett took the phone and made threats that police would have to kill him if they came to his Manlius house, nearly 12 miles outside Syracuse.

When authorities arrived, Bennett proceeded to march in and out of the house for about an hour, making threats at police, while holding a weapon, Syracuse.com reported.

A SWAT team as well as personnel from the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police and Manlius Police were at the scene as police attempted to negotiate with Bennett to put his weapon down and surrender.

Officials were unsuccessful and say Bennett told them they would “need to shoot him in the head” before he started to approach troopers with a weapon.

Novotny fired a single shot at Bennett with his rifle, striking him in the abdomen.

State police say they started life-saving measures on Bennett before rushing him to a nearby hospital where he later died.

A search of Bennett's home uncovered components used for methamphetamine manufacturing, Raub said.

Bennett's toxicology report is pending.

The shooting will be investigated by Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, as is protocol for police-involed shootings.

Fitzpatrick said he plans to bring the case before a grand jury, though grand juries are currently not meeting due to the coronavirus pandemic. If that is the case, the attorney says he will assess the case himself.