EASTCHESTER NY May 1 2017 — A 36-year veteran of the Eastchester police force, who shot himself last summer, was responsible for a hit and run three days before he died, according to New York State Police.
They said Sgt. Richard Morris had been drinking on Aug. 21, 2016, before driving on White Plains Road in Eastchester and hitting a 73-year-old woman with his Dodge pickup truck and leaving the scene “at a high rate of speed.”
Morris was off duty at the time, and the woman was taken to Westchester Medical Center with “serious, but non-life threatening injuries,” state police said.
Three days after the collision, Morris’ body was found in Valhalla’s Gate of Heaven Cemetery with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The next day, state police took over the investigation into the hit and run at the request of the Eastchester Police Department, because of Morris’ potential involvement.
Morris was a respected and decorated member of the department since he joined in 1978. He received several awards and commendations during his career, most notably the medal of honor for bravery following a 1996 standoff that ended with the death of his good friend, Officer Michael Frey, who was shot in an ambush.
Morris was among the first to respond to the scene and was pinned down by gunfire.
Eastchester Police Department declined to comment at this point.