Police probe of Morse death turned over to DA

WWNY Peyton Morse, fallen firefighter.
WWNY Peyton Morse, fallen firefighter.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 3:02 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The long-awaited State Police investigation into the death of Watertown firefighter trainee Peyton Morse is finished.

Morse died last March, after he stopped breathing and lost consciousness while training at the state Fire Academy in Montour Falls.

Joe Fazzary, the Schuyler County District Attorney, told 7 News he has received the state police report, but is still waiting for two other reports.

Fazzary said in an email that he hopes to have the rest of the information by the end of June.

“In the next several weeks, I will be reviewing everything to make sure there are no unturned stones and then I will make a decision on how to proceed,” he wrote.

A report by state safety experts found no violations of health or safety standards, despite the testimony of other trainees, who said they saw instructors yelling at Morse as he lay on the floor, not breathing.

Morse’s parents have been critical of the Fire Academy. They believe it’s an environment of hazing and bullying, and that their son is the victim of a crime.

The Academy has said it puts firefighter safety first.

The report turned over to the District Attorney is from the State Police Violent Crimes Unit.

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