Clarkstown Police release details on fatal standoff Vincent Cordaro named as suspect

By Michael Riconda

NEW CITY – The Clarkstown Police Department held a press conference on Monday to provide further details on a standoff which left an armed suspect dead after he allegedly used a high-powered rifle to exchange fire with police. The suspect in the case was identified as Vincent Cordaro, 57, of 67 North Little Tor Road in New City. According to Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan, investigators believe Cordaro was killed by a single shot fired by an officer. “Our preliminary determination is that it was the actions of our officer who returned fire that stopped this threat,” Sullivan stated. “The officer is a member of our tactical team who was deployed with a long gun to secure the perimeter, collect information and provide cover for our entry team.” Police were called to the scene at around 7:15 p.m. on Sunday night after family members reported at the Clarkstown Police Department that Cordaro, who was reportedly in an intoxicated, agitated state, threatened to shoot family members with a shotgun. Cordaro, also allegedly threatened to fire upon responding police. The situation escalated from there when police surrounded the property. When the situation proved unstable, police advised neighbors to turn off their lights and stay away from windows. One individual known to be a tenant in the building was also evacuated when Cordaro allowed him to leave. During the siege, Cordaro fired an estimated 10 to 15 shots with a scoped .308 rifle and issued threats of injury to officers, Cordaro also called for the presence of his arresting officer in a September 2014 DWI case. Talks between Cordaro and the officers began at 8:15 p.m., but broke down by 11:35 p.m., prompting police to respond with tear gas when they determined the situation was too dangerous to progress. Cordaro opened fire again, after which a single officer fired a shot into the home, killing Cordaro. The Sheriff’s bomb disposal unit was called in to survey the building with a remote-controlled robot, but could not maneuver the robot through dense debris in the house. The tactical team was then sent in and found Cordaro, who was pronounced dead at 2:47 a.m. Clarkstown Police are continuing to investigate the incident and have stated they will release more details as the investigation, including an autopsy and toxicology report by the County Medical Examiner, progresses. “This investigation is a long way from over,” Sullivan stated. Meanwhile, the officer who shot Cordaro was taken to the hospital for examination and released shortly thereafter. Sullivan reported the officer was placed on administrative leave, a standard procedure in any police-involved shooting, and was “upset but holding up well.” Cordaro, who had drug and alcohol problems, was no stranger to Clarkstown Police. Aside from his most recent DWI arrest, he had been pulled in for DWI in 1998 and two burglary charges in 2007 and 2008, the former of which included charges of menacing with a weapon. According to Sullivan, Cordaro also had a history of involvement in domestic violence incidents.