BERLIN — A man accused of firing a rifle during a domestic dispute at an upstate New York home was unarmed when he was later shot and killed by two state troopers in a dark forest, authorities said Monday.
State police Capt. Scott Coburn said Rensselaer County sheriff’s deputies responded at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday to a report of a shot fired during a domestic dispute at a home in the rural town of Berlin, on the Massachusetts border, 20 miles east of Albany.
By the time deputies arrived, the suspect, 38-year-old Steven Bell, had left the scene in a vehicle, Coburn said.
State troopers and Department of Environmental Conservation officers joined the search for Bell. His vehicle was found parked in a nearby state forest at about 6:30 p.m. Using night-vision goggles, police began searching the forest, Coburn said.
They soon encountered Bell, who approached the officers and refused their orders to stop and show his hands, Coburn said. Bell raised his hands in a threatening manner and was shot by two troopers, he said.
“Troopers, believing the use of deadly physical force against them and others was imminent, responded by discharging rounds” from a patrol rifle and a service handgun, Coburn said.
Bell died at the scene.
A search for the rifle he was accused of firing continued Monday, police said. Ammunition was found in his vehicle, they said.
Coburn said Bell was known to police and had been arrested twice before, but details weren’t released.
State police said their investigation into the shooting continued.