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Cortland County District Attorney Announces Indictment of Burda in Police Shooting – Officers Actions Justified

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Yesterday afternoon Cortland County District Attorney, Patrick Perfetti held a press conference at the District Attorney’s Office regarding the shooting that took place at an apartment building on Homer Ave. back on January 29th in the City of Cortland.

Perfetti provided a detailed view of the events that took place on that Monday in Cortland. The series of events began when officers from the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office were in the process of serving an eviction notice to 58 year old Steven R. Burda.

With the assistance of the landlord, officers made entry towards Burda’s apartment and after making entry into the apartment they discovered Burda armed with a shot-gun with the butt stock on the floor and barrel pointed at his chest and head. Officers immediately called for backup at the scene for assistance. Responding officers included an officer from the City of Cortland Police Department and an additional Sheriff’s Deputy.

Perfetti said officers over the course of the next several moments, attempted to get Burda to end the standoff with the shotgun in a peaceful way. He then continued to say officers then made a request for a non-lethal weapon to the standoff.

“The city police officer who had responded, requested and received a non-lethal shotgun as a means to subdue the tenant without resorting to life threatening measures.” Perfetti said.

The nonlethal weapon discharges a non-lethal bean bag round and is easily identifiable when compared to a typical shot gun. Deployment of the non-lethal shotgun was initiated after Burda began to move his hand towards the trigger of his weapon. Cortland Police Lieutenant Cheyenne Cute fired two non-lethal rounds, one hitting Burda in the hand and the second in his pelvis.

“At this point, the tenant was refusing to comply with directions to place his weapon on the floor. Then, he turned his shotgun upon officers and fired three rounds.”

Site of attempted eviction and shooting at 171 Homer Ave. (X101 Photo)

Cortland County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Sergeant, Anthony Phelps, fired back at Burda, who was struck in the leg. Immediately after the shot was fired, Burda was taken into custody and medical aid was provided by officers and TLC Ambulance upon arrival. Burda was transported to Upstate University Medical Center in Syracuse for further treatment.

New York State Police took charge into the investigation and charged Burda with Attempted Murder in the 1st degree on February 2nd. On February 7th, Burda was arraigned while still at University Hospital and afforded a preliminary hearing in Cortland City Court the following day, Perfetti said. It was during the preliminary hearing in City Court Perfetti says is where the City Court determined there was sufficient evidence for reasonable cause a felony by Burda was committed.

On Friday, February 9th, the Cortland County D.A’s Office had presented evidence to a Grand Jury regarding both the actions of Burda and the officers involved. Perfetti says the Grand Jury voted not to indict the police officers; finding their actions justified.

An indictment was secured against Burda, with a certificate of indictment filed as of Monday morning, February 12th. Perfetti says the indictment is in the process of being filed with the Cortland County Court. The charges in the indictment were not released. Perfetti continued on saying the charges are only allegations. Burda remains under guard by officers and remains in stable condition.

The officers involved in the shooting were not placed on administrative leave. Perfetti citing their actions in the situation were proper and justified after a review of the case.

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