State Trooper Fatally Shoots Driver On Causeway

Mid-day incident clogs traffic for hours

By Emily Feldman
|  Monday, Sep 14, 2009  |  Updated 5:17 PM EDT
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State Trooper Fatally Shoots Driver On Causeway

NBC New York

Suffolk County Police at scene of shooting Sunday.

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A seemingly routine mid-day traffic stop turned deadly Sunday, when a State Trooper fatally shot a driver on a busy Long Island Causeway.

At around 3 p.m., the trooper began pursuing an erratic driver who made an illegal U-turn but eventually stopped in the southbound lanes of the Robert Moses Causeway over Captree Island, according to Newsday. From there, the situation quickly escalated.

"The pursuit culminated in a violent altercation between the trooper and the operator of the vehicle being pursued," Sgt. Jim Needam told Newsday.

The driver, identified as Steven Barraco, 42, allegedly grabbed the trooper's baton's and started attacking the officer.

By the time reinforcements and emergency vehicles arrived, the trooper had already shot and killed the Barraco.

The trooper, who was named by officials, was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for head injuries, and is said to be in stable condition.

Beach-goers, who were soaking up the last warm rays of summer, had to find alternate routes home as all traffic from Robert Moses State Park was diverted to Ocean Parkway.  Police also shut down the Robert Moses State Parkway south of Montauk Highway for their investigation.

The identities of the trooper and the driver have not been released.

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