State Police: Man shot and killed by trooper in Gates had illegal gun, took off from traffic stop over expired sticker

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GATES, N.Y. – New York State Police say a trooper shot and killed an armed driver in Gates after a chase that started because of an expired inspection on Sunday night.

State Police Capt. Samuel Spezio said the chase started when Trooper Dominick Caito was on patrol and saw a car with an expired inspection on I-490 westbound near Innovative Field. Police say the driver, 36-year-old Daniel Legler, sped off. Caito gave chase while communicating with emergency dispatch. His speed hit as much as 95 miles an hour.

Legler headed west onto Route 531 before exiting at Rochester Tech Park, hitting a guide rail, jumping a curb, and driving onto a field, according to State Police.

Legler got out of the car, Spezio said, and refused Caito’s commands to stay put.

According to State Police, Caito was holding Legler by the wrist when Legler pulled out a revolver and fired. That’s when Caito let go, backed up, and shot Legler. He died at the scene.

State Police defended Caito’s actions at a press conference Tuesday, saying Caito’s life was in danger.

“No one wants to do that in this job, but confronted with a threat, clearly he made a decision that he needs to go home, so he needed to stop the threat.”

Capt. Samuel Spezio

Legler was not known to State Police, but was a felon, meaning he could not legally own a gun. Police say he also had cocaine in his system.

Police say the body cam footage shows Cato followed his training.

Legler leaves behind two daughters, ages five and seven. Their mother tells News10NBC in part, “I don’t blame the police whatsoever and I am angry with Daniel’s choices in life, but I can’t deny the love he had for his daughters and I want to make sure they remember the best parts of him and all the love he had for them,” she said.

Daniel Legler, 35, is survived by two daughters. (Provided photo)

Legler’s friend Nicole Robbins also made a statement: “Dan was a very kind person. He had some bumps in the road, just like everyone. He’s human. He didn’t deserve to die.”

The New York State Attorney General’s Office, which is required to look into every police-involved shooting, is investigating.

Scene at the Rochester Tech Park in Gates on Sunday (Credit: Dan Mauer / WHEC).

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