Manhunt continues for bank robbery suspect who shot Sheriff, other suspect identified

MARCY, N.Y. (WKTV) - An Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy was shot Thursday following a bank robbery in Rome and subsequent chase into Marcy.

Deputy Michael Burger with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office is expected to be okay after he was shot in the ankle chasing the bank robbery suspect. That suspect remained on the loose Thursday evening following the robbery at the NBT Bank on Black River Boulevard in Rome.

"I can assure you we will find this individual," said New York State Police Captain Fran Coots. "We made a tactical entrance into the woods, and we will bring him into custody."

A massive manhunt involving about a dozen law enforcement agencies is underway as police search for Brian Brown, 31. He was last seen in Marcy wearing a white shirt and blue jeans, and State Police ask that anyone with information regarding his whereabouts contact them at 315-736-8802.

NBT Bank and the FBI have each put up $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect who is still on the loose.

Brown is not the only suspect in the robbery. Ikiko Brown, 24, Utica, was taken into custody shortly following the robbery. Ikiko Brown is being held in Rome lockup.  He'll be arraigned tomorrow morning.

Whitestown Police Chief Donald Wolanin helped arrest the man, who was taken into custody on Route 49 near the Oriskany exit. He was  assisted at the scene by a passing by off-duty law enforcement official.
     
That spoke to the magnitude of the incident, from the start of the robbery to the manhunt. There are law enforcement officers from Long Island to Albany assisting in the search.

Brian BrownThe events of the day unfolded around 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning when Brown and the other suspect allegedly entered the NBT Bank with a shotgun, firing at least one shot into the air. No one was hurt during the robbery, and it is unclear how much, if any, money was taken. The suspects then fled in a Gold Mitsubishi Galant down Route 49 eastbound.

Deputy Michael Burger stopped the suspects' car on Route 49, where the first suspect was arrested.

It was at that time, as Burger was making the arrest, that the second suspect - Brian Brown - jumped into the driver's seat and took off in the car.

Brown led police to Edic Road near SUNYIT, where he reportedly shot Deputy Burger in the ankle and fled on foot into the woods.

"A couple of State Police officers were able to assist the Sheriff's Deputy when he was shot," Captain Coots said. "Not to speak for the Sheriff's Department, but he was in good shape when we arrived at the scene. Obviously, he was in a great deal of pain. The last thing we saw was the person running into the woods."  

Oneida County Sheriff Dan Middaugh has been with Deputy Burger in the hospital throughout the day and says he's doing great.
     
Several roadblocks have been stationed as a result of the manhunt, including at SUNYIT and the Bank of America on Horatio Street, and authorities are asking residents to avoid those areas.

At one point, police searched a house on Edic Road near Mulaney Road after two officers outside the home heard a noise in the woods. That noise turned out to be nothing.

Police also searched the Utica Marsh off Route 12 in North Utica, but it is the hundreds of acres of field near SUNYIT where police are primarily focusing.

"We don't have any reason to believe he's not (in the woods)," said Captain Richard Antanavige of the Oneida County Sheriff's Department. "And as soon as we have some reason to believe he's not in the woods, we'll dictate what we'll do."

A New York State Police helicopter was in the sky over the wooded area where the suspect was believed to be, and police were preparing for the possibility that they will be maintaining the perimeter around SUNYIT after dark.

The manhunt forced several cancellations, including Thursday night’s session of the Marcy Town Court. Anyone with a court date must reschedule with the court. 

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