Troop C: Suspect Advanced, Firing Semi-Automatic

Troop C: Suspect

Advanced, Firing


Man, 30, Died At Route 17 Scene;

Officer Wounded In Left Shoulder

Troop C reported the suspect killed in last night’s shooting began firing through his back window with a semiautomatic when he was pulled over.  These bullet holes are in the window of Trooper Conklin’s cruiser.  (Troop C photo)

Editor’s Note: Troop C, which includes Otsego County, released this account of the shooting exchange last evening in the Town of Kirkwood, Broome County, where the investigating trooper was injured and the suspect killed.

Trooper Conklin lights a candle at last July’s funeral in Vestal for Trooper Nicholas Clark, shot in a standoff. Last night, Trooper Conklin had a narrow escape.

On Jan. 28, 2019 at approximately 6:09 p.m., the State Police at Binghamton received a report that Nicholas P. Philhower, age 30, had taken his mother’s motor vehicle without her permission and she requested he be located and arrested.  At approximately 6:20 p.m., Trooper Timothy S. Conklin, a 28-year veteran, observed the suspect vehicle traveling west on State Route 17 in the Town of Kirkwood.

Philhower observed Trooper Conklin approaching and took evasive action, traveling through the median at the intersection with Interstate 81, and then onto State Route 17 east bound, coming to a stop shortly thereafter.  At that point Philhower, who was armed with a military style semi-automatic rifle, immediately opened fire on Trooper Conklin through the rear window of the vehicle.

Trooper Conklin returned fire through the windshield of his troop car as Philhower exited his vehicle and continued to advance and fire upon the trooper.  Trooper Conklin was able to reload his weapon, exit the troop car and continue to exchange fire with his attacker.  During this exchange, Philhower was struck several times and died at the scene.

Trooper Conklin sustained a minor shrapnel injury to his upper right arm and was taken to Wilson Hospital in Johnson City where he was treated and released.

The Broome County Coroner released Philhower’s body to Lourdes Hospital for autopsy scheduled for today at 1:00 PM. Broome County District Attorney Stephen Cornwall responded to scene.  The New York State Police were provided assistance from members of the State Department of Transportation, The Five Mile Point Volunteer Fire Department, the Broome County Office of Emergency Management, and Superior Ambulance.

The investigation is on-going with troopers and investigators interviewing multiple witnesses and executing search warrants on the suspect’s vehicle and residence.

13 thoughts on “Troop C: Suspect Advanced, Firing Semi-Automatic

  1. Art miller

    Why did military style have to be added. A semi auto is a semi auto their all the same. Throw the gun under the bus. it did the shooting all by it self.

  2. Paul Christy

    “Military style” I believe is distinct from “police style”, which is respectful of casualty count. It was certainly not to distinguish the officer’s superior handling of the situation when using a defensive handgun to engage an offensive rifle. Cheers.

  3. Gordon Taylor

    Great police work … our heros continue to put their lives on the line every day. Sounds like this guy wanted to die … very sad.

  4. Sharon Rankins-Burd

    Art Miller, perhaps because there are some of us who are not well-versed in rifles, and those words help us see more clearly the kind of rifle being talked about? At least for me personally, it helps me understand what the trooper was seeing. What a tragedy!

  5. GL

    “Military style semi automatic rifle”
    Sounds so scary, unlike my non military style semi auto hunting rifle (that fires just as quickly and has larger rounds)… Great job by the trooper, a true warrior.

  6. Doug Smardz

    Having retired from the New York State Police, I am glad to see my former academy classmate come out on top in this tragic situation. Stay safe, my friend and sleep well…you did your duty.

  7. Doug Smardz

    Being a retired New York State Trooper and no longer living in NY, I am happy and relieved to see my former academy classmate come out on top in this tragic situation. Stay safe and sleep well, my friend…you did your duty. 168…

  8. Garry Hoffman

    Sharon Rankins-Bard, I’m curious how “military-style” added to the description of a semi-automatic rifle is instructive for you. That phrase is a political buzzword, and has no industry standard or meaning. Without the NYSP releasing the true type of rifle in evidence, what you rely on to draw your mental picture can literally apply to hundreds of models of semi-automatic rifles in circulation… Think about it, those who would like to do away with guns love you to see the scary images they’ve planted there over their years of media manipulation.

  9. Steve Osarczuk

    I have 27 yrs in law enforcement currently retired. The Trooper shot through his windshied!!! People don’t realize you can shoot through glass, bushes, drywall, car doors… Fantastoc old school tactics Trooper. Well done.

  10. Johnny Whitehead

    I am thankful the trooper survived the encounter. The weapon used by the offender has no bearing on how the event occurred. He was armed and attempting to kill an officer. Sadly the trooper may have to learn how to live with the incident. Hopefully the trooper will realize he did not cause it and that the assailant chose the out come! Stay strong brother.

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