SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — An 18-year-old man from Salina has been arrested and charged with the attempted murder of three Syracuse Police Officers.
In a press conference on Wednesday, January 25 Syracuse Police Chief Cecile, Mayor Ben Walsh and Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick spoke about updates on the case and said the officers are doing “okay.”
A court document obtained by NewsChannel 9 details the charges against 18-year-old Tajh Smith, accused of firing two shots toward three officers exiting their police vehicles.
The incident happened near Skiddy Park on Tuesday afternoon, at the intersection of Fabius and Oswego Streets on the city’s West Side.
The document explains Tajh “did intentionally attempt to cause the death of three police officers who were, at the time of the attempt, engaged in the course of performing their official duties.”
Two detectives and one officer were assigned to the department’s “warrant squad,” wearing bulletproof vests emblazoned with the word “POLICE,” according to the felony complaint.
The investigating sergeant claimed one shot hit the vehicle’s passenger-side mirror, “just missing” an officer’s head, “nearly killing him.”
The shooter was arrested after running away. The gun had a single bullet remaining in the chamber, police found.
In the press conference, Chief Cecile said the Syracuse Police department has stepped up its gun violence initiatives and blanketed hot spots around the city where gun violence is occurring.
“It’s obviously very frustrating, it’s dangerous for the officers and they’re doing everything they can. Last year we took 266 guns off the street which was a 24 percent increase from the year before. We do what we can and we will continue to do that,” said Chief Cecile.
In regards to the three police officers who were involved in the attempted murder, Cecile said they are doing okay.
“They’re doing good, we were speaking with them and we gave them some time off to decompress. They’re holding up ok.”
Mayor Walsh also added that he is happy the officers are okay and that the suspect has been arrested.
“I go out of my way to try and engage with officers and get to know them as human beings. This past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions but the only thing that makes me feel better is that the officers are okay and that that individual was arrested.”
Mayor Walsh reminds the community that good things happen when the people of Syracuse support the police.
“My hope is that the community sees that when they are proactive and support our officers, good things happen and we get those people out of our neighborhoods. Our officers can’t do it alone, but they are doing a lot,” said Mayor Walsh. “We hope that these examples show that just with a little bit of support, waving somebody the right way, making an anonymous call, it can make all the difference in the world.”
Chief Cecile also mentioned that it was because of the community and their assistance that they were able to apprehend the suspect so quickly, and he thanked the community for that.
This is a developing story. NewsChannel 9 and LocalSYR.com will continue to report updates.