While New York State Police continued the investigation into the death of Richard Aubin, 28, family and friends were still trying to come to grips with what happened.
"It's not quite real yet," said Joey Allen, Aubin's friend.
Troopers claim they tried to pull the man from Ausable Forks over shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday, after clocking him at 95 mph on the Adirondack Northway. A 20-mile high-speed chase ensued and ended on Route 9 in North Hudson.
"The State Police were able to deploy a tire deflation device," N.Y. State Police Capt. Robert LaFountain said.
Police say Aubin started running into the woods. Troopers Leston Sheeley and Marcia Pooler caught up with him about 75 yards from the road. Police say that's where the three got into a physical confrontation.
"Pepper spray was deployed but it did not have the desired effect, and he continued resisting and grabbed one of the trooper's side arms, attempting to take control of it. At this point, the second trooper discharged several rounds into the suspect," LaFountain said.
Aubin died at the scene. Police say he tried to grab Trooper Pooler's weapon and Trooper Sheeley fired the shots. Both troopers were taken to the hospital to be treated for unspecified injuries and were released. Police say Aubin has a lengthy rap sheet, including convictions for assault and drunk driving.
"He has served time in New York State prison and he is a convicted violent felon. He also has a history of resisting arrest." LaFountain said.
But family and friends have a different perspective of the man they called Joey, short for his middle name, Joseph.
"Just a good friend, happy-go-lucky, always smiling, telling jokes," Allen said.
They say he liked to ski and took pride in his job.
Aubin worked for the Olympic Regional Development Authority at Mount Van Hoevenberg giving people rides on bobsleds.
"He started off as a brakeman, worked his way up to a driver, very good at both," Allen said.
Friends and family wonder why Aubin ran from police and allegedly tried to grab a trooper's gun, and they want to know why police killed him.
"He got shot basically for 30 miles over the speed limit, it's basically what he got shot for," Allen said.
State Police are conducting an internal investigation. They will turn their findings over to the Essex County district attorney who will make the final determination whether the trooper's actions were justified.
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