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Upstate Man Is Fatally Shot by State Trooper

A New York State Police trooper shot and killed a young man in the small upstate village of Unadilla on Wednesday night after the man confronted the officer with a knife, the police said.

Mark A. Beilby, 24, had repeatedly refused to drop the knife and had “advanced at the trooper,” whom authorities did not identify, the State Police said. The trooper, responding to a 911 call, had entered Mr. Beilby’s home in response to reports of a domestic dispute. After the trooper shot him, Mr. Beilby was transported to two separate medical centers but died.

On Thursday, Attorney General Letitia James’s office said it would investigate the shooting, as required by law in cases of officer-involved killings.

In a news conference on Thursday, Major Jeffrey VanAuken of State Police Troop C said that Mr. Beilby had been shot in his apartment after confronting the trooper, who was not injured.

“This is a tragic situation,” Mr. VanAuken said, adding, “Our desired outcome is always something positive.”

There were 10 shootings by the State Police during 2021, according to William Duffy, a spokesman. Four of those people shot by officers — including Mr. Beilby — died.

Mr. VanAuken said that state police had “had previous encounters” with Mr. Beilby, though he offered no details about those incidents. He added that two troopers from Troop C, which patrols seven counties in southern and central New York, had been shot in two separate incidents in June, which Mr. VanAuken ascribed to “an uptick in violence we’ve seen, across the state and across the nation.” Both troopers survived.

“It’s a difficult job for all of law enforcement to perform on a daily basis,” he said.

Steve Beilby, Mr. Beilby’s uncle, said that his nephew had lived in several group homes as an adult and struggled with “mental problems.” He said the younger Mr. Beilby had recently left a group home in nearby Oneonta.

“He’s been re-placed from one place to another,” said Mr. Beilby, adding that his nephew’s father, Mark Beilby Sr., had informed him of the shooting on Wednesday night.

“All I know is he had a knife, and the state trooper told him to put it down and he wouldn’t put it down,” Mr. Beilby said. “And they shot him.”

The shooting occurred on a small street near the center of Unadilla, which has about 2,500 people and is some 45 miles northeast of Binghamton.

Jack Insinga, the mayor of the village, said that the word of the incident had spread quickly and had left residents shaken.

“This is not the norm,” said Mr. Insinga, who described Unadilla as “very quiet, very peaceful, very low-crime,” adding that some had feared “a random shooter” or “someone loose in the area” on Wednesday night.

Mr. Insinga said that Unadilla, in Otsego County, was so small that it did not have its own police department and relied on state police for much of its law enforcement.

Sitting on the banks of the Susquehanna River, the village is known for its hometown rake company, York Rakes, which celebrated its centennial recently.

The mayor said that Mr. Beilby’s family had been longtime residents in the area. “Everybody knows them,” he said. “This is way out of our scope.”

Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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