2011-02-17 / Front Page

Poughkeepsie Cop Shot and Killed Has Putnam Roots

by Eric Gross

A Poughkeepsie police officer shot and killed Friday by a crazed gunman, who also murdered his wife before taking his own life, had Putnam County roots.

Officer John Falcone, 44, who resided in Marlboro in Ulster County, died at Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie from a gunshot to the head.

Falcone, an 18-year highly decorated veteran of the Poughkeepsie Police Department, was employed in the 1990's as a part-time officer with the Kent Police Department as well as a police dispatcher.

Kent Police Lt. Alex DiVernieri described Falcone as a "good guy. John was an excellent worker who was liked by everyone. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family and to our brothers in the Poughkeepsie Police Department," he told the Courier.

Falcone was shot by Lee Welch, 27, of Greene County, who police said was embroiled in a domestic dispute with his wife. Police in Dutchess County credited Falcone with saving the life of the couple's three year old child who was being held by the gunman after he killed his wife.

Authorities said Falcone grabbed the child and handed it off to a passerby seconds before he was mortally wounded.

Falcone was single and had no children. His parents still reside in the Carmel area.

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