Syracuse Police Officer Found Justified In Fatal Shooting

Nov 15, 2016

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said a county grand jury has concluded that Joseph Mauro, a Syracuse police officer, was justified in the fatal shooting of Deric Brown in October during a news conference on Tuesday.
Credit John Smith

An Onondaga County grand jury has concluded that a Syracuse police officer was justified in the fatal shooting of Deric Brown last month when he opened fire on the officer. County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said officer Joseph Mauro III was performing a routine traffic stop on Walnut Avenue near Madison Street.

“During his brief interaction, he immediately noticed that Brown was in possession of a handgun as he was able to see part of the gun sticking out from under Deric Brown’s legs. Officer Mauro drew his service weapon and commanded the driver to show his hands. Brown refused and abruptly reached for the handgun.”

 Fitzpatrick said several witnesses saw that Brown refused to show his hands at the officer’s request. The DA’s office also released dash cam footage from a Syracuse University medical transport van, showing Brown opened fire on Mauro before being shot dead.

 “And as officer Mauro reached the back of his police vehicle, Deric Brown exited his vehicle, got into a shooting stance and began firing at officer Mauro. Officer Mauro, within seconds, fired three rounds at Brown. Brown continued to fire after officer Mauro fired three rounds.”

 Fitzpatrick said the gun Brown used was the same weapon in a shooting on North Salina Street near Transitions 658 night club back in May.

Bullet holes (pointed out in yellow sticks) were found in this marked police SUV.
Credit John Smith

“That case is yet unsolved. The victim shot in that case survived. We do not know if he had lived, Mr. Brown would have been charged with the crime. I want you to know that the history of the gun has been traced.”

The DA said Brown had five prior felony convictions, most recently for illegal possession of a handgun.

Brown was an employee of Syracuse University's Food Services.