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Two Troopers Shot in Search for Fugitive

By Staff

Fredonia, NY – Two New York State troopers were in critical condition Friday morning, after being shot and wounded Thursday night in the Chautauqua County town of Pomfret.

The officers were on a surveillance detail in connection with the search for fugitive Ralph "Bucky" Phillips. State Police Superintendent Wayne Bennett says the attack on the two troopers was unprovoked.

"Based upon what I know of the trajectory of the gunshots, it's clear to me that these troopers were ambushed," Bennett said.

Phillips is believed to be the prime suspect in the shootings. Searches intensified in the area overnight.

"He has made threats against police officers via other individuals who either we or the Pennsylvania State Police have spoken to," Bennett said. "So it is my opinion that he clearly would be the number one suspect in the shootings."

Trooper Joseph Longobardo, 32, is at Erie County Medical Center, and Trooper Donald Baker Junior, 38, was taken to a hospital in Erie Pennsylvania. Both are stationed in the Albany area.

The troopers did not return gunfire last. One was shot in the back with a bullet that pierced his bullet-resistant vest and exited his abdomen. The other was shot in the thigh and suffered massive blood loss because of a severed artery. Both underwent surgery.

Friday, police were checking vehicles on roads approaching the state Thruway.

Phillips escaped from jail in April and is accused of the June shooting of a trooper who approached his car.