A neighbor says the man who died after being shot by police during an incident on Betwood Lane was an 81-year-old veteran who suffered from flashbacks.
Thursday afternoon, police confirmed the man who was shot was 81-year-old Robert Litolff.
Police say someone, believed to be Litolff, called 911 around 2 a.m. and said they were going to kill their wife.
Police say multiple officers responded and Officer Jeffrey Fraser was first on scene. At the home on Betwood Lane, police say Litolff approached Officer Fraser with a .22 caliber Marlin rifle. Officer say afterwards they found the gun was not loaded. However, during the incident, police tell us the officer ordered Litolff to drop the weapon; instead he pointed it at the officer.
“Officer Fraser fired at that time,” Chief Phelan said.
The officer fired 17 shots total. Two shots hit Litolff, killing him. Other shots struck the house and a tree.
“They are trained to shoot until the threat has ceased,” said Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan.
Police say one shot hit Litolff in the foot, but Litolff continued to move towards Officer Fraser until Fraser hit him again, this time in the chest.
Neighbor and longtime friend Sherwin Evarts tells News 8’s Solina Lewis that Litolff would never harm his wife.
“He wouldn’t lay a hand on her. He wouldn’t. He would die before he put a hand on his wife. He had that much respect for her.”
As for the officer, Chief Phelan says the Fraser was not physically harmed during the event but spoke of the traumatic experience.
Chief Phelan told reporters, “Obviously, he has gone through a traumatic event… It’s a life-changing event.”
Officers say Litolff’s wife was home during the incident but was asleep, unaware of the situation, until shots were fired. Officers say the couple had lived at the residence on Betwood for decades; police had been called to the residence in the past for what Chief Phelan said were minor calls.
Chief Phelan says Officer Fraser’s wife was also at the scene; she was with the officer for a ride-along.