NY state trooper charged with manslaughter in fatal 2022 shooting

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Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 5:55 PM EDT
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A New York state trooper was charged with manslaughter on Monday for fatally shooting a Pennsylvania man after a high-speed car chase last year.

Trooper Anthony Nigro was arraigned in state court in Buffalo for the Feb. 12, 2022, shooting of 38-year-old James Huber of North East, Pennsylvania.

Nigro, a nearly 16-year veteran of the state police, pleaded not guilty to first- and second-degree manslaughter and was released without bail.

Troopers first spotted Huber speeding on Interstate 90 near Buffalo and pursued him at speeds that topped 100 mph (161 kph), police said.

The fatal encounter happened after Huber eventually pulled over in Buffalo.

Body camera footage released by the state attorney general’s office shows Nigro holding his gun in front of him as he approaches the car and orders Huber, with a curse word, to get out. Huber, sitting in the driver’s seat, turns away from the officer and says, “Go away.”

Huber appears to reach his right had toward something in the car, and Nigro grabs the hood on Huber’s sweatshirt. The trooper fires two shots and falls to the ground as the car lurches backward, briefly dragging Nigro. It is unclear what Huber may have been reaching for.

The car moved in reverse out of camera range, crashed and landed on its side on a parking ramp.

The body camera footage shows Nigro running to the car. He radios, “Driver’s been hit. I’m fine.”

Huber, who was unarmed, died of gunshot wounds at the scene. His death was investigated by Attorney General Letitia James, whose office brought the charges against Nigro.

Charles Murphy, the president of the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association, said that “while the outcome was tragic, Trooper Nigro’s actions were in accordance with his training and the law.”

Murphy said in a statement that Huber’s “dangerous” actions “threatened the safety of innocent motorists on the Thruway and in the city of Buffalo, which justified Trooper Nigro’s actions.”

The New York attorney’s office is tasked with investigating all deaths that are caused by police officers, but criminal charges against an officer are rare.

The state police said in a statement that the department has cooperated with the attorney general’s investigation and will continue to do so.

Cary Arnold, a Pennsylvania woman who has a daughter with Huber, told the Buffalo News that Huber might have been heading for a rally in support of Canadian truckers protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates at the time of the shooting.

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