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Matt Eck: "I was on moonshine"

Concord, N.Y. (WBEN) - One day after police say he held them at bay during a 13 hour standoff, Matthew Eck walked into the Concord courthouse Tuesday morning telling reporters "I was on moonshine and I had a black out and I don’t remember what I did, to tell you the truth.,”

Eck made an appearance in court following yesterday's extensive and tense standoff with  law enforcement at t his Brown Hill Rd. home Sunday night and into Monday morning.

Eck, though his attorney, pleaded not guilty to two counts of attempted murder, will be held without bail and will undergo a mental health assessment.  The case will next move to the Grand Jury.  

The District Attorney's Chief Homicide Prosecutor James Bargnesi says the case will be "prosecuted vigorously" and speaks to the dangers that police face daily.

Neither Bargnesi nor Frank LoTempio, Eck's defense attorney had specific comments on the remarks Eck made to reporters outside the Monday arraignment.

"I made a big mistake, Don't mix alcohol, and medication.. or guns," Eck said before entering Concord Town Court.

Erie County Sheriff's Office says the 48-year-old man fired about 60 shots from a high-powered rifle Sunday night when deputies responded to a domestic call in the town of Boston, south of Buffalo.  Authorities say  Eck's wife had called 911 after fleeing with her children to a neighbor’s house.

"I am very sorry. I ruined my whole life, my family's too" Eck said, as he was led up the Town Hall steps in handcuffs.

A sheriff’s deputy sustained an eye injury when the gunfire broke the glass of his cruiser’s windshield. Three police vehicles were struck.

At times during the standoff, Eck fired several shots at police vehicles.  The incident ended peacefully Monday morning when Eck surrendered to police and was taken for evaluation at ECMC.

The FBI's Holly Hubert says the negotiation lasted for hours and was complicated by the fact much of is was via text.  While there was extensive communication, there were times of "silence" between law enforcers and the "agitated" suspect that lasted up to 90 minutes.

The search dragged on for hours, as police tried to make sure the shooter had not moved outside their perimeter. The Erie County Sheriff's helicopter, Air One, was part of the manhunt. Because the search area extended to the shadow of Route 219, that freeway was closed to traffic for nearly three hours, along an 11.4-mile stretch from Boston State Road to the north and Genesee Road to the south.  Route 219 was re-opened to traffic shortly after 2:30 a.m., even as police continued to surround the home on Brown Hill Road.

The initial calls to police came from a neighbor and reports of shots fired.  Police were on the scene within minutes of that first call indicating gunshots had been fired.  Deputies Bradford Ballantyne and Jonathan Hanna were first on the scene.  The incident is being characterized as "domestic" in nature and the family has been "helpful and cooperative" according to Sheriff Howard.


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