On March 1, 2006 at approximately 12:05 pm New York State Trooper Andrew J. Sperr encountered a suspicious vehicle on the Lowe Road in the Town of Big Flats, New York. Unbeknownst to him, the two male occupants of the vehicle had just robbed the Chemung Canal Bank in Big Flats. The bank robbers had left a vehicle in a parking area off the Lowe Road and were on their way to change vehicles when Trooper Sperr observed them. Trooper Sperr followed them into the parking area and as he approached their vehicle, the passenger fired at him. Â Trooper Sperr was immediately struck twice by gunfire, but despite his wounds, he drew his issue sidearm and returned fire. During the ensuing gun battle Trooper Sperr managed to hit both suspects. Trooper Sperr received two additional gunshot wounds before the assaliants fled. Trooper Sperr succumbed to his wounds a the shooting scene. Because of the serious wounds sustained in the gun battle with Trooper Sperr, both suspects were forced to quickly seek medical attention and were thereby quickly apprehended.
Trooper Sperr's actions during the final moments of his life were indeed heroic. Despite being seriously wounded himself, he returned fire and seriously wounded his assailants and thereby greatly contributed to their apprehension. As a consequence, Trooper Sperr ensured that neither suspect would be able to commit additional crimes or endanger the public or his fellow officers. Trooper Sperr gave his life in the performance of his duty. The bravery and dedication he demonstrated and the ultimate sacrifice he made on March 1, 2006, should never and will never be forgotten by the Community.
As a tribute to Trooper Sperr, a community park was built at the site where he lost his life. The park includes a half mile walking trail lined with benches around the pond, playground, pavilion, gazebo, overlook, and a monument. A majority of the work was done by volunteers and a majority of the funding for developing and completing the park came from private donations.
On behalf of the family, friends and co-workers of Trooper Sperr we would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU for all who have helped to honor and remember a truly amazing person who laid down his life serving and protecting the Chemung County community.