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Syracuse Police Chief on Recent Homicides: Related to Drugs & Gangs, Seeking Public's Help

WAER File Photo

Syracuse’s Police Chief says two homicides over the weekend and another killing form last weekend are not connected to recent protests, but rather drug and gang activity.   Together, the three killings push the city’s number of homicides for the year to 17. 

Chief Kenton Buckner says detectives have solved ten of the cases thanks to information provided by the public.

“Our community has done a great job in assisting us in these cases.  We pride ourselves on our homicide clearance rate.  (but) We prefer not to have homicides in the first place.” 

A total of nine people were shot this weekend… and two died from those incidents.  He reminds residents they can always provide anonymous tips. 

Buckner says officers responded to five active scenes over the weekend and police resources were stretched.  He says as an urban center, he is not surprised when bad things happen.

“This is a tough city on a good day.  So I think we’re seeing some of the same uptick in Central New York and even across our state, as our borhers and sisters down in the ciy; they’re having challenges.  Violent crime is up everywhere, and I think Syracuse is just reflective of a national trend where we’re seeing spikes in violent crime.” 

The Police Chief sent out condolences to families connected to the recent homicides. 

They say 33 year-old Pedro Ayala-Clemente died from a gunshot wound to the head… that incident happened the prior weekend. 

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (315) 442-5222.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.