70-year-old man suffers serious injuries after group attack

Syracuse police are investigating a group assault reported at 101 Valley Drive in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven. The 70 year old victim is in the hospital with critical injuries after being attacked by several men.

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - A 70-year-old man was seriously injured early Saturday morning after being attacked outside of a 7-Eleven in Syracuse.

Police say James Gifford had just left the store at the intersection of Valley Drive and South Street just after 6:00 a.m. and was attacked by a group of five or six black males, according to Syracuse Police.

Police also said this appears to be an unprovoked incident with an innocent victim.

Law enforcement officials are working with the store to obtain surveillance images that might shed more light on the incident and provide a more specific description of the suspects.

The initial investigation shows that the suspects used their hands and feet, but would not release specifics regarding Gifford's injuries.

A motive for the attack has not been determined.

Police said they are also unsure if this was a robbery or if it was connected to "knockout game" attacks, in which the participants try to knock a person unconscious on the first punch.

A "knockout game" attack did happen in Syracuse in May, when 51-year-old Michael Daniels was beaten to death on Brighton Avenue.

At this time, police need more information to determine the nature of the beating on Saturday.

Syracuse Police Sgt. Tom Connellan said that police are relying on information from the public to solve this case.

He said there may be some people who witnessed the attack, helped Gifford after the attack and left the scene before police could conduct an interview.

Police said one man reportedly performed CPR on Gifford but has not yet been interviewed by police.

People with information can call Syracuse Police at 315-442-5222. All calls will be kept strictly confidential.

Gifford is being treated at Upstate University Hospital.

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