Suspect dead, Trooper injured after foot chase in Elmira


ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — State Police have confirmed that David Wandell, 53, of Elmira, was shot and killed in Woodlawn Cemetery during a shootout and foot pursuit involving several police departments on Friday.

At 11:32 a.m., Elmira Police responded to a report of a wanted person in Eldridge Park from a New York BCI Investigator.

An Elmira officer entered the park and tried to arrest Wandell. Police say when she was about 20 yards away, Wandell pointed a black revolver at her. The officer then fired several shots at Wandell, but it is unclear how many shots or if Wandell was hit. During this encounter, no officers suffered any injuries.

Wandell then ran out of the park, and “several officers from every agency in Chemung County responded,” according to Elmira Police Chief Anthony Alvernaz.

Around 11:45, Elmira Heights Police reported that Wandell was now on Davis Street, so most officers headed to Woodlawn Cemetery to locate him.

Mick Szoczei, BCI Captain for NYSP Troop E in Canandaigua, said several officers tried to verbally make Wandell stop at the cemetery.

He brandished a weapon, then officers fatally shot him. He was “located deceased in Woodlawn Cemetery.” Police didn’t specify which agency shot Wandell.

Wandell, a New York State parole absconder, recently came back to Elmira from North Carolina.

The State Trooper that impaled her leg on a metal fence is out of surgery, according to Alvernaz. Szoczei said no officers were shot.

Szoczei said State Police will now become the lead investigators. He also said there will eventually be bodycam footage released from various agencies. However, Troop E doesn’t have body cameras yet.

The roads around Woodlawn Cemetery will be closed for some time while police continue to process the scene. NYS Police have processed the scene at Eldridge Park as well at the request of Elmira Police.

He asked that anyone who may have seen anything call the Elmira Police Department at 607-735-8600 or the State Police in Horseheads at 607-739-8797.

Seven different departments responded, including Elmira Heights Police, Elmira Police, West Elmira Police, Chemung County Sheriff’s Office, Horseheads Police, NYS Parole, and NYS Police.

The investigation is ongoing.

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