ONEONTA, N.Y. – The acting police chief in Oneonta, Lt. C.J. Witzenburg, is speaking out for the first time since the fatal officer-involved shooting earlier this week.
Witzenburg says there has been a “good deal of commentary regarding this incident that has been inaccurate” and asks people to “refrain from passing judgment on this incident until the facts and actions can be made public.”
Police responded to 48 River Street for a domestic dispute Tuesday afternoon, where they found 23-year-old Tyler Green outside holding a child while wielding a knife, after allegedly stabbing the woman he lives with in the leg. Witnesses say Green dropped the child, and threatened officers with the knife. That’s when Sgt. Ralph Pajerski fired two shots, hitting Green in the chest.
The investigation has been turned over to the New York Attorney General’s Office.
“Though we are not the investigating agency, I have had the opportunity to review a considerable amount of evidence concerning this incident,” said Witzenburg. “I am confident based on my training and experience that the Office of Special Investigations will clear up any doubt that this response was appropriate, logical, reasonable and necessary as the law requires.”
Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig said Pajerski and the other responding officer have not yet returned to work.
Witzenburg says the police department will operate normally throughout the AG’s investigation.