UPDATE: School Opens Friday Under Watchful Police Eyes
Update: Haldane School in Cold Spring open Friday, as a massive manhunt continued for an accused Long Island killer. Tight security had been expected, and was indeed in evidence as students filed in. The search has consumed activity in western Putnam County between Cold Spring and Beacon.
Late Thursday afternoon, Sheriff Don Smith held a second press conference to give an update on the manhunt for alleged murderer Sang Ho Kim.
As of 4:45 p.m., the suspect is still at large. Smith reported that although efforts will not stop as night falls, he did not want to risk rescuers’ lives in the mountains in the dark.
The suspect’s car, found at a beach between Cold Spring and Breakneck Mountain, will be removed to open the Route 9D passage so the road can open to commuters.
Emergency phone calls are going out to Philipstown residents urging them to continue to exercise caution and keep all doors and windows locked.
The Suspect is an Asian-American male, 6’2” tall, last seen wearing a red shirt and gray or black suit jacket. Please call 845-225-4300 or a special tip hotline 845-808-4350, if you see anything suspicious.
Cold Spring Mayor Ralph J. Falloon said that it was safe to assume, “We will be here 24/7.”
He explained that he was never notified of the fact that an armed and dangerous suspect was on the loose in Cold Spring, “I was incredibly shocked and slightly disappointed that the FBI was originally handling it and there was no sharing of information, so I was shocked for the village that the official news comes at 6 a.m., from the school message system. I wasn't happy as a parent, or as a mayor.”
He also said that it was important to know that “no crime has been committed in the city limits.”
Smith said they are doing everything they can to provide safety to residents. When asked if he had been able to locate the suspect with his cell phone, Smith would neither confirm nor deny.
Could the suspect have hopped a train? At this point anything is possible.
The manhunt began at about 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, after a patrolling Putnam County Sheriff’s deputy spotted the suspect’s getaway vehicle unattended at Sandy Beach Park. Kim is wanted in connection with the alleged shooting of two persons earlier on Wednesday in East Garden City.
It is expected that Philipstown’s schools will be open tomorrow—albeit with a strong police presence. Although it is ultimately the superintendents’ call, Smith believes that school will in fact resume. Residents can expect increased patrols in Philipstown area.
By this afternoon more than 100 officers from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Cold Spring Police Carmel Police, and Kent Police, State Park Police, MTA Police, the Putnam County Emergency Response Team, State Environmental Conservation Police, State Forest Rangers, Westchester County Police, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI were involved in the search, leading Smith to say that Cold Spring probably had “more police per square mile right here than probably anywhere in the United States right now.”
Canine team, marine patrols, and helicopters were also deployed to comb the area. (Below, video of Sheriff Don Smith and others at Thursday morning news conference, by Tim Greco)
With Annie Chesnut
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UPDATE: 150 Officers Search for Long Island Killer
by Eric Gross
Police continue to search on land as well as in the air this afternoon for a man wanted for shooting and killing an employee of a Long Island light fixture company and wounding another person Wednesday who is believed to be hiding in the rugged mountainous terrain of western Putnam County.
The vehicle belonging to the suspected shooter, Sang Ho Kim, 63, of Queens, was found at 11:30 p.m. last night parked at the Sandy Beach Park parking lot off Route 9D in the Breakneck section of Philipstown.
Nassau County Police Chief Steven Skrynecki told the Courier “the white SUV was empty” necessitating the massive search.
Police reinforcements from a variety of levels have been searching the area on foot since early this morning. Some 150 officers from agencies including the State Police, FBI, Nassau County Police Department, Putnam Sheriff’s Department, New York State Park Police, Putnam Emergency Response Team consisting of members of the Carmel and Kent Police as well as deputy sheriffs and members of the Putnam Bureau of Emergency Services and NYS Forest Rangers are all involved in the manhunt.
Sheriff Don Smith this afternoon called on the public to “remain vigilant. Keep doors locked and if any suspicious activity is observed, call the Sheriff’s Department at 225-4300 or dial 9-1-1.”
Smith said he did not want the public to “panic. Increased patrols are on duty countywide. We are doing our best to apprehend this individual who allegedly committed the heinous crime on Long Island.”
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Long Island Killer’s Car Found In Philipstown
A man wanted for shooting and killing an employee of a Long Island light fixture company and wounding another person Wednesday is believed hiding in the rugged mountainous terrain of western Putnam County.
Nassau County Police Chief Steven Skrynecki told the Courier this morning that the vehicle belonging to the suspected shooter, Sang Ho Kim, 63, of Queens, was found at 11:30 p.m. last night parked at the Sandy Beach Park parking lot.
“The white SUV was empty and as a result we are conducting a massive search of the area with the assistance of Putnam County Sheriff’s Department and State Police personnel. We decided to wait to begin our ground search until dawn to protect the lives of officers involved,” said the chief.
Helicopters scoured the area overnight without success.
As a result of the search, the Haldane School District has canceled all classes and activities for the day.
Police have urged residents of the Cold Spring-Philipstown area to keep their doors locked today and if anything suspicious is observed to call 9-1-1 immediately.
A section of Route 9D in the vicinity of the Breakneck Tunnel is also closed due to the manhunt.