By Staff –
Thirty-year-old Allen Rufus was reportedly shot while campaigning for a Common Council candidate in a north side neighborhood on Tuesday, after allegedly being harassed by residents in the area.
Rufus reportedly received no response from police following his initial calls to report the problem; he then subsequently called Common Councilor Helen Hudson to ask for help.
Rufus was shot while he was on the phone with Hudson.
Councilor Hudson and Syracuse Police Department Deputy Chief Joseph Cecile addressed the incident during a City Council meeting Wednesday.
“When a priority came in there was no a car to spare, but when he was shot 20 cars showed up,” Hudson stated. “That’s very interesting to me. One car could have come out and deescalated the situation.”
According to Cecile, the department did not place the original harassment call as a high-priority, due to the fact that the SPD has been experiencing a shortage of officers recently, in comparison to high call volumes.
However, Hudson and several community members voiced their concerns regarding the incident during the meeting, which some have labeled as a hate crime against Rufus, who is African American.
“All of this started because somebody didn’t feel this man belonged in the neighborhood while he was doing his job. I’ve got a problem with that,” Hudson reportedly said.
According to Cecile, the department needs more officers, in order to respond to the high call volumes.
Mayor Stephanie Miner has also released the following statement regarding the matter:
“Last night, an incident occurred in the area around Spencer Street and Genant Drive where a [30-year old] male was shot. As with all cases, the Syracuse Police Department is focused on fully investigating this matter and bringing it to a resolution. When we have all evidence, and it is appropriate, we will share the result of the investigation with the public.”
Rufus was shot in the right thumb and left leg on the 100 block of Basin St, and family members said the injuries may require surgery.
Check back for additional updates regarding the incident.