Police: "You never know" when responding to a domestic call


BLOSSVALE, N.Y. (WKTV) - According to New York State Police, a domestic call was made to 911 involving Adam Theall just last Saturday.

Another domestic-type call was made Tuesday, June 22, just before authorities arrived on the scene and witnessed Theall shoot and kill his three-month old son, Eithen, with a long gun.

Police say they receive thousands of domestic calls a year and that Tuesday's shooting in Blossvale was not anywhere near the norm.

New York State Police Captain Francis Coots says that the June 22 incident in Blossvale is an extreme case of how a domestic call can go. During a domestic call, Coots says police officers never know what they will see.

A 911 dispatch tape from Tuesday reveals a dispatcher saying that Theall threatened to shoot his son if police showed up to the Pine Road home in Blossvale. Coots said that despite that, threat state troopers had to respond to the scene.

When troopers arrived, Theall killed his son almost instantaneously, making what happened next nearly unavoidable, Coots said. Authorities then, with guns drawn, immediately ordered Theall to drop his weapon, which he refused. Officials said Theall then turned the weapon on officers on the scene, at which point the officers opened fire on Theall.

Baby Eithen was transported via ambulance to Rome Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Adam Theall was transported via helicopter to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, where he underwent surgery for the more than 14 wounds he suffered.

Coots said that the 14-16 wounds he suffered does not mean that he was shot 14-16 times. Instead, it means that with various ammunition used, there was other injuries aside from just bullet wounds.

On Wednesday morning, State Police said hospital officials expected Theall to survive, which means he will be alive to face murder charges.

"For someone to say 'should you have backed off?' and then something tragic happens...then we will certainly be criticized," Coots said. "The actions the trooper and the Sergeants took yesterday were within our training,...what our policy dictates."

What's On