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Gunman Opens Fire On Police Officers, Killing One

March 22, 1996

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ A gunman firing from inside his home killed one policeman and wounded a second Thursday, then held their rescuers at bay for hours, authorities said.

A SWAT team was on the scene. The last gunfire from the house came at about 5 p.m. It was unclear whether the suspect, identified as Richard Sacchi of Eastchester, had any hostages in the house.

Sacchi had called police for assistance Thursday afternoon, authorities said. When officers arrived, he began opening fire.

An armored car was used to rescue the wounded officers about two hours after they were shot. One was found in his cruiser, the other slumped outside the home, said Eastchester Town Supervisor Jim Cavanaugh.

Officer Michael Frey was pronounced dead on arrival at Lawrence Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and arms, said hospital spokeswoman Rose Innella.

The second officer, Richard Morrissey, was taken to another, unidentified hospital. His condition was unknown.

The sound of gunfire could be heard from a block away, erupting periodically from the house in this quiet suburban neighborhood. Authorities said the man inside was holding ``a variety of weapons.″

``Our first priority was to get the officers taken care of,″ Cavanaugh said. ``Now the plan is to take care of the person with the gun.″

Officers crouched behind parked cars along Morgan Street, as two helicopters buzzed overhead and police hustled bystanders away from the area.

Sacchi’s father told police that his son was due in court. A Richard Sacchi, 26, of the same address, had pleaded guilty to aggravated harassment on Feb. 23 and was due for sentencing on April 12, said Barbara Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney.

Details on the harassment case were not available Thursday night.

Update hourly