Officer-involved shooting

Onondaga District Attorney: The shooting of SU employee Deric Brown near Walnut Park was justified

Jes Sheldon | Photo Editor

Based on the video, witness accounts and Mauro’s testimony, Fitzpatrick said the Onondaga County grand jury concluded the shooting was justified.

The deadly shooting of an armed man by a Syracuse police officer on Oct. 9 near Walnut Park was justified, said Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick in a press conference Tuesday.

Fitzpatrick said Joseph Mauro, a Syracuse Police Department officer, saw part of a handgun appearing from under Deric Brown’s legs as he approached Brown’s Nissan vehicle during a traffic stop near Walnut Avenue, according to Syracuse.com. When Mauro ordered Brown to show his hands, he refused and reached for his handgun, leading to led Mauro to taking cover at the police car, Fitzpatrick said.

A dashboard camera video, reportedly taken from a Syracuse University van and released by Syracuse.com on Tuesday, revealed Mauro running behind a police car as Brown left his driver’s seat and started to shoot on Mauro. At least five shots were heard on the video.

After exchanging fire, Brown was shot and died from his injuries after being transported to Upstate University Hospital. Mauro was uninjured.

Based on the video, witness accounts and Mauro’s testimony, Fitzpatrick said the Onondaga County grand jury concluded the shooting was justified, according to Syracuse.com. Brown was a recently hired employee at SU.

Fitzpatrick added that Brown fired seven shots while Mauro fired back three shots, according to Syracuse.com. Of the three shots fired, two shots struck Brown, one in his thigh and another in his chest.

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said in October that Brown was pulled over because his car’s taillights weren’t on. Brown had a  history of weapons possession offenses, being arrested on the charge of attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree in 1999 and on the charges of criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degrees in 2004.

In 2014, a Liverpool man accused Mauro and three other Syracuse police officers of using excessive force  and using racial slurs during an arrest. The man was later found not guilty of resisting arrest.

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