Cold Spring on High Alert After Suspected Shooter Presumed in Area
Residents of Cold Spring witnessed the search for a suspected killer first-hand last Thursday, disrupting the usual routine of the small village in Putnam County.
After the getaway vehicle of an alleged Long Island shooter that left one dead and another critically injured was discovered at Little Stony Point Park late Wednesday night, a full manhunt for Sang Ho Kim ensued the next day. Residents in the area observed scores of law enforcement officials flooding the village in search of Kim, many in disbelief that something of this magnitude could occur where they live.
Kim was announced dead Monday evening, according to a press release sent out by the Sheriff’s Office. The release goes on to say at 8:30 a.m. Monday, a recreational boater on a sailboat spotted Kim’s body in the Hudson River just south of Bear Mountain Bridge, near the Rockland County shoreline. The Rockland Medical Examiner’s Office removed the body and positively identified him as Kim. A cause of death was not determined by press time.
One resident who lives in proximity to where the vehicle was found said she was shocked at what was underway. When Krista Manzoeillo first heard helicopters overhead Wednesday night, she thought it was simply connected to West Point and Stewart Air National Guard Base. But when she woke up Thursday and got a call from her sister, she realized it was more serious.
“It was very unsettling,” Manzoeillo said. “I didn’t leave my house all morning because you just don’t know where he could be.”
“This morning I was afraid to look out my window,” the lifelong resident added. “I thought I was going to see him walking right in front of my apartment.”
Another resident, who lived on the same street and declined to give his name, said the news of Kim’s alleged shooting caught his eye the day before because he used to do all his Christmas shopping at the mall where the crime took place. When he heard the helicopters in the morning, he figured it was a lost hiker in the woods and not the suspect he had heard about the previous day.
“Kind of an odd coincidence,” the resident said.
Because of the manhunt, Main St. in Cold Spring wasn’t as bustling and some businesses were closed for the day. The Haldane School District also closed Thursday, but reopened Friday.
One parent of a daughter in the school system knows closing school was the right call.
“That mountain is right behind that high school so you don’t know if he is up there, you don’t know if he would try and get into that complex or not,” Tim Hynes said.
With multiple roadblocks set up, Hynes said he’s seen many frustrated drivers turned away from their desired destination.
“Because a lot of them can’t get to their homes in Dutchess County,” he said. “So it’s tough for them.”
Throughout Thursday and Friday, the manhunt of Kim was at its peak with multiple law enforcement agencies working together. The search was scaled back once into the weekend, but Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith said there would be an increased police presence throughout the weekend in the surrounding areas.
Smith added that Kim, a Queen’s native might have hiked at the park before and been familiar with the area. The vehicle discovered has been turned over to the Nassau County Police Department.
Before Kim was found dead, Smith urged residents in Putnam to lock their doors and lock their cars and also remain vigilant.
Cold Spring Mayor Ralph Falloon said he was shocked as anyone that a manhunt had started. With the FBI originally in charge, he heard about the threat when the school system called to let him know school was closed.
When he went to the command post run by the FBI he wasn’t even welcomed until the Sheriff’s Department became in charge.
He never remembers something like this happening in the village dating back 30 years.
“In my opinion, it was just another random shooting and unfortunately the fact that it ended up here is a little disconcerting,” Falloon said.