POUGHKEEPSIE – It was moments before 10 a.m. on Wednesday when shots rang out again in the City of Poughkeepsie.
Poughkeepsie police responded to the Gulf gas station at 128 Washington Street where they were told that a car had fled the scene in the direction of Route 9, with broken windows on the passenger side.
A witness provided a picture of the vehicle to the police, who then transmitted the vehicle description over the police radio for all officers to be on the lookout for the car. Local hospitals were also alerted to look for victims of gunshot wounds at their facilities. It is unclear if anyone involved in the incident suffered wounds.
As officers secured the scene and searched for evidence, additional police officers searched locations throughout the city where vehicles involved in crimes are routinely abandoned.
A city officer located the vehicle parked at the Tubman Terrace apartment complex a short time after it was seen leaving the crime scene. Detective Lieutenant Matt Clark said that the vehicle was rented from Hertz Rental at JFK Airport in New York City.
Town of Poughkeepsie Police Officer Mikelic and his K9 partner Kyle arrived at the complex in an attempt to locate the suspect who had fled. Mikelic said that under normal circumstances, the K9 would use the vehicle seats to obtain a scent but the car’s seats were covered in glass particles and were not safe for Kyle to be exposed to. The K-9 did track scents in two separate locations for a brief time with negative results.
Councilman Chris Petsas lives less than a block away from the gas station and heard the gunshots. He went to the scene shortly after police responded. “This is disgusting,” he said. “Our city is better than this. To have gunshots ring out in broad daylight is frightening.”
The vehicle recovered from Tubman Terrace was towed to police impound by a local tow company under the supervision of the city police.
The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office assisted the City of Poughkeepsie Police at the original crime scene. Sources tell Mid Hudson News that at least two different caliber handguns were used during what appears to be an exchange of gunfire between a shooter in the car and a person outside of the vehicle.
Mayor Rob Rolison said he is “extremely concerned that since June 20th we have had three incidents with shots being fired, including injuries to two females and the death of a 16-year-old teenager. Whether these are connected or not, it’s a very troubling trend we have not seen in some time. We are using all of our resources to stop these shootings and get those involved off the streets.” The mayor did note that overall, violent crimes are down in the city over the last several years. He was emphatic that “we are not going to let this turn around and go the other way.”
Individuals with information about the incident are asked to call the city police at 845-451-7577. Tips can also be submitted online on the police department website.