Search is on for Killer of 12-year-old Boy as the Community, Families Grieve

Oct 11, 2018

Police Chief Frank Fowler (left) and Mayor Ben Walsh (right) each said they are determined to find the person who killed 12-year-old James Springer III.
Credit John Smith/WAER News

Syracuse City officials say they too are mourning the loss of a 12-year-old boy tragically shot and killed on John Street Wednesday night.  They’re now asking for community support to provide information and band together to stop the violence. 

Police Chief Frank Fowler says the investigation has revealed that when people observe or have knowledge of something wrong, they need to contact police.

"There were some things that occured in that neighborhood in the days leading up to this that we weren't aware of. Had folks in that neighborhood called the police we would have been able to intervene. Now I'm not saying that we would saved this child's life, but I'm saying to you that I would have loved to have had a chance to save this child's life."

The victim, James Springer III, was in the 100 block of John Street when he was shot in the abdomen.  He died several hours later at a local hospital.  Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens expressed that emotions are running high for both the community and for city officials.

"Right now, you're angry. Right now, you're afraid. Right now, you're hurt. And those are the emotions I'm feeling just as you are, but from this moment we have to strategically begin to think about what we're going to do moving forward around this for our children, for our families and for our neighborhoods. And just like anything else, the City of Syracuse is ready to take on this challenge and we're asking you to join us."

Springer III was in 6th grade at Grant Middle School and Superintendent Jaime Alicea says students are grieving the sudden loss of their classmate.

"The students were very sad and we were there to support them. We will have counselors there all day to listen to them and provide the support that they need."

In the same incident, a 33-year-old woman received a minor gunshot wound to her abdomen.  Anyone with information may reach the Syracuse Police Department Homicide Tips Line at (315) 442-5223 or use the SPD Tips app.