Police tell harrowing story behind Pillar Point standoff

Nathan Krump
Nathan Krump(Jefferson County Correctional Facility)
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 4:01 PM EDT
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PILLAR POINT, New York (WWNY) - Police describe “bullets whizzing past us” and diving “behind the patrol vehicles for cover” during Tuesday night’s standoff with a Pillar Point man.

The suspect, 45-year-old Nathan Krump, is charged with first-degree attempted murder. Following his arraignment Wednesday in Watertown City Court, 7 News obtained multiple pages of police statements.

In those pages, members of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police recount their harrowing experience of being shot at, taking cover behind a trooper car that was hit by a bullet, watching a house go up in flames, and tasing the suspect to take him into custody.

Deputy Humberto Perez reported that he was sent to 23378 County Route 59 in the town of Brownville around 6:15 p.m. to check on a person who lives there.

“The caller was advising that a Nathan Krump was making suicidal/homicidal posts on Facebook and he believed that suicide by cop may be part of his plan,” Perez said.

After getting to the home, Perez was joined on the scene by Trooper Derrick Leonard.

Perez reported that Krump, while holding a white object, began yelling at him to get off his property “or I’m going to shoot you” and also, “You’re going to get killed.”

(Other police later said the white object appeared to be a rifle with a white stock.)

“Nathan then raised the object at me with one hand and I heard a gunshot,” he said. “I heard Trooper Leonard call out over the air that Nathan had just shot at me.”

Perez said he and Leonard used the trooper’s patrol vehicle for cover while waiting for more police to arrive.

Once other law enforcement officials got there, Perez said, “We began hearing gunshots and could hear the bullets whizzing past us.”

In his statement, Trooper Leonard described how he and two other troopers were positioned behind doors of a marked police vehicle.

“I heard several shots fired, at least three of which were fired at our position. Two of the rounds went over our heads and one round struck the windshield” of the police vehicle.

Police said they repeatedly tried to make contact with Krump through the PA system, but he didn’t respond.

The sheriff’s department’s SERT (Special Emergency Response Team) arrived on the scene with its MRAP armored vehicle and began to advance toward the place where Krump was holed up.

Deputy James Randall said he heard several rounds “striking what I believe to be the residence behind me.”

He said he and another deputy went to the neighbor’s home to evacuate the people who live there. While crossing their yard, Randall said, “More shots were fired in our direction.” He reported that he fell and sprained his ankle.

The other deputy, Jeffrey Froelich, said Randall provided cover for him as he helped evacuate a couple and their dog to safety.

During this time, Deputy Froelich reported seeing fire at the home where Krump had been.

“The residence was now fully engulfed and propane tanks attached to the house went up in flames and created a huge fireball,” he said.

Police reported the heavy smoke made it difficult to see

Deputy Matthew Young stated he saw a man, later identified as Krump, driving a tractor toward a state police vehicle. He reported it over the police radio and “the SERT team took the subject into custody...using a taser.”

According to a statement by Detective Jay Morrow of the sheriff’s office, Krump’s tractor hit and injured a deputy.

Young said Krump was escorted in handcuffs to his patrol vehicle.

“I removed the taser probes from his body and collected them as evidence,” he said.

Young stated that emergency medical personnel evaluated Krump and cleared him.

Krump was then taken to the county jail, Young said.