Updated: 6/11/21 – 12:48 P.M.
VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — New York State Police investigators took a man suspected of shooting a state trooper into custody Thursday afternoon. He has been charged with attempted murder in the first degree.
State police found Jason Johnson by the Susquehanna River off State Route 79 at approximately 4:30 p.m., according to Major Todd Stratton, State Police Troop C Commander.
Stratton said police were able to take Johnson into custody without any use of force.
“We were able to get our helicopter up there very quickly, get some eyes on him,” Stratton told reporters at the Harpursville Fire Station.
The commander said Johnson tried to get down near the river bank, where law enforcement officers from numerous agencies intercepted him.
Among those involved in the investigation were representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the New York State Police, the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, the Binghamton Police Department, Harpursville Fire Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Police.
Stratton said the public also helped throughout the search.
On Wednesday night, police received a call about a “suspicious male” who appeared to be “drawing something” in the road, according to Stratton. He said Johnson had a long gun and ran into the woods when police arrived before firing at them. According to state police, they shot back, and Trooper Becky Saeger was shot near her hip.
Saeger was taken to UHS Wilson Medical Center without life-threatening injuries and was released Thursday afternoon.
Stratton said he could not comment on Johnson’s mental health status at the time of the shooting.
Due to the police investigation, all residents were advised to stay inside and keep their doors locked.
The Harpursville Central School District campus was closed Thursday. In an alert on its website, the district said no person should be on the campus for any reason. The district will instead go to remote learning for the day.
The Oneonta Daily Star reported that Afton Central School also switched to remote learning Thursday because of the manhunt. The Town of Afton borders Colesville.
The Eastern Broome Senior Center and Harpursville Meals on Wheels were closed, as well. The Broome County Office for Aging said residents who get food from the Meals on Wheels program will not receive a delivery today and should utilize their emergency food supply.
A spokesperson for Broome County indicated Nathaniel Cole Park in Harpursville was also closed due to the investigation and will reopen on Friday.*
*This story is being updated as more information becomes available.