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Suspect in Stabbing Death Turns Himself In to Syracuse Police

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Syracuse Police have arrested a suspect in Saturday’s stabbing death in Solvay who they say turned himself in.  31-year-old Jerry Benton of 261 W. Ostrander Ave in Syracuse is accused of second-degree murder for killing 29-year-old Brian Sheppard.  Police have video surveillance and eye witnesses to help identify Benton as the suspect.  Fowler was grateful the public helped.

"I think that 99.9% of people are outraged over something like this.  But when we don't all collectively do something about it, then that leaves the likelihood of something like this happening again."  

Fowler would not say what they saw in the video evidence, nor would he speculate how the suspect and victim might have known each other.  He also wouldn’t confirm gang involvement, but indicated it was a possibility.  To that end, he chastised a media report of a threat made by the victim’s family, saying that Benton was safer in jail than he would be in public.

"If you print something like that or show that on your TV shows then you're broadcasting a threat and I don't see where that helps anyone.  So threat or retaliation, I hope not, because if someone does decide to retaliate then that person is going to get dealt with."

The city’s sixth homicide of the year occurred early Saturday morning, when Sheppard went into a store at 1207 Milton Ave in Solvay. 

Fowler says Benton followed him in, then stabbed him right outside.  He says they quickly identified Benton as a suspect, causing him to turn himself in Monday afternoon.  No motive has been determined…and Fowler says the invitation continues. 

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.