Deric Brown, a Syracuse resident who was fatally shot by a Syracuse police officer during a traffic stop Sunday, Oct. 9, was armed during the incident, police stated.
According to Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler, Brown, 41, had gotten out of his vehicle at around 11 p.m. that evening, and fired a weapon at an officer after begin pulled over for driving without tail lights.
Fowler said the officer had noticed the handle of a firearm in Brown’s vehicle, and then retreated to the back of the vehicle while ordering Brown to show his hands.
Instead, Brown fired his weapon at the officer, Fowler said, and the officer then returned fire, hitting Brown at least once.
The unidentified officer then called for backup, and an ambulance on the scene, which was located at the 600 block of Walnut Ave.
However, Brown later died at Upstate University Hospital.
The officer was not injured.
According to Fowler, the exchange between Brown, who’d had prior illegal weapons charges, and the officer lasted approximately two minutes, and the officer has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation into the matter.
“It happened just that quick,” Fowler stated.
Both Brown and the officer were alone in their vehicles at the time of the incident, but police said a gun had been recovered from Brown at the scene.
In addition, according to authorities, the officer involved had not been wearing a body camera, and his car wasn’t equipped with a dashboard video camera; nonetheless, police have obtained video from a third party.
Brown was convicted of weapons charges twice since 1999, and, most recently, had been released from state prison in 2009.
The Onondaga County District Attorney’s office is currently handling the case, since authorities claimed Brown was armed.
Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order mandating the state attorney general’s office serve as a special prosecutor in cases where an officer shoots an unarmed individual.
Fowler said police are awaiting the outcome of the investigation before drawing any conclusions, and they will release the name of the officer who shot Brown within 72 hours of the shooting, as per the department’s policy.