Western New York native shot to death chasing car break-in suspects in Tennessee

Posted at 6:16 AM, Nov 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-01 06:16:36-04

Neighbors near Nashville and here at home are mourning the death of a Western New York native shot by two suspected car burglars.

According to Metro Nashville police, 45-year-old Erik Helffenstein got in his car and followed the men who were breaking into cars in his neighborhood. While on a stretch of highway about two miles away from his home, the suspects opened fire, killing Helffenstein.

Officers found his SUV several yards off the roadway. They performed CPR, but were unable to revive him.  

The suspects are still at large.

News of Helffenstein's death was posted in the Orchard Park High School Class of 92 Reunion Facebook page.

Helffenstein leaves behind a wife and two young children. A GoFundMe has been set up to help them.

A memorial service will be held on Friday in Tennessee. Another is being planned in Buffalo for a later, to-be-announced date.

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