Hoping To Crack A 20 Year Old Case

6:51 PM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
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LOCKPORT, NY - Law enforcement sources tell Channel 2 News that federal agents have re-opened an investigation from two decades ago, which involved the shooting of one police officer, and the death of another who went to his aid.

As is customary, an FBI Spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing probe, as first reported by The Buffalo News on Tuesday.

It is a case in which there have never been any arrests, and about which many questions remain.

"It was a very emotional time for everyone," recalled Lawrence Eggert, Lockport's current Chief of Police, who in the summer of 1993 was a Lieutenant on patrol.

"I have to tell you that in my 33 years as a police officer here, that was probably the biggest investigation we ever ran," Eggert told WGRZ-TV. "Many people were interviewed, and we chased leads from here to across the country and unfortunately it all came to naught."

In the early morning hours of July 22, 1993, Lockport Police Officer Steven Biles radioed that he had been shot. Among those speeding to respond was Niagara County Sheriff's Deputy Jeffery Incardona, whose propane powered patrol car ended up hitting a utility pole while en route, which burst into flames, killing him.

"When he hit the telephone pole, the seat went up and hit his leg...he couldn't get out of the vehicle," recalled Francis Giles, who served as Niagara County Sheriff at the time.

Officer Biles, who would survive his wounds, said he had pulled up behind what he thought was a disabled car on Elmwood Avenue when he was fired on.

He gave police sketch artists a description of the suspect, and a car, which he said probably had the rear window shot out, which was eventually found.

But other parts of his story didn't square up, so much so, that eventually the investigation turned inward.

"The officer involved in the shooting became a suspect, due to some evidence that was discovered very early on in the investigation," said Eggert. "Every angle has been looked at including that the officer may have been involved in his own shooting. We just haven't had enough information to take it to the level of a criminal prosecution."

Eggert also noted that if Biles was truly an innocent victim in the case, solving it could clear his name from rumors, which have surrounded him for more than two decades.

Two On Your Side contacted Biles by phone where he now lives in Winter Springs, Florida. However,
he told us he had nothing to say about something that happened 20 years ago, and hung up.

Even if someone was arrested, due to statute of limitations, it is unclear what he or she could be charged with...but police say there would more to it than that in solving the case.

"We owe it to the family of Jeff Incardona to give them some closure, so they know exactly what happened that night," said Eggert.

"I remember Jeff well," said Giles. "He was a great young man. His wife was a wonderful woman, they had children...he was doing a great job and everything just came to a tragic ending."

Current Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour politely declined comment for this story.

Ironically, Voutour was the deputy hired by the Niagara County Sheriff's department to replace Deputy Incardona following his untimely death.

Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 on Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Terry Belke. Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2.

WGRT-TV, wgrz.com

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