SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Mayor Ben Walsh and Fire Chief Michael Monds addressed and updated the community on the exposure incident that took place at Brighton Towers on Wednesday, March 1, leaving two people dead.

Syracuse Police Deputy Chief Richard Trudell provided a significant update on the shots fired incident at Destiny USA that occurred on Friday, February 24.

Destiny USA Shooting Update

Chief Trudell stated that detectives spent the last few days looking through video, inevitably identifying a 14-year-old male as the suspect in the shooting.

The investigation also revealed that two groups of males were having a disagreement at Destiny USA, leading one to shoot at the other group.

On Wednesday, March 1, around 7:30 p.m., the suspect’s whereabouts were developed, and he was taken into custody on Taft Avenue.

The police are familiar with this individual, as Trudell explained that he has an arrest history, specifically with property crime, including stolen vehicles.

They know that the juvenile is notorious for posting with firearms on social media.

The 14-year-old was charged with:

  • Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree
  • Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree
  • Criminal Possession of a Firearm

The same 14-year-old was determined to be a victim of a shooting with injury incident that took place back on January 3, 2023, at the 500 block of Delaware Street.

“In this case, the 14-year-old alleged that he was randomly shot but evidence suggests that his injuries were the result of an accidentally self-inflicted gunshot wound to the arm,” said Trudell.

Juvenile’s charges from January 3:

  • Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree
  • Criminal Possession of a Firearm
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree

The firearm used in both incidents was stolen, and the weapon from the Destiny USA incident has not been recovered.

Last night, March 1, the suspect was arraigned and remanded to Hillbrook on charges from both incidents.

Trudell reminds everyone that there is still a curfew for those under 18 who are at the mall. Pointing out that when there are unattended juveniles there, problems arise, saying that, “this is an issue that comes up pretty regularly.”

Brighton Towers Exposure Update

On March 1, the emergency room at Upstate Medical University was shut down for a brief time due to a HAZMAT situation. Nine first responders and Upstate Medical University staff have since been treated and released from the hospital.

As of this morning, March 2, the Syracuse HAZMAT Team confirmed that fentanyl was found on the scene, according to Fire Chief Michael Monds.

Fire Chief Michael Monds stated that they believe the exposure was isolated to those who were at the Brighton Towers apartment.

A 55-year-old male and a 25-year-old male have been confirmed dead. A third person was in the residence at the time but has since been released from the hospital.

“During the course of their operation, they identified a powder on one of the victims that was confirmed to be fentanyl,” said Monds.

Monds calls the operation, “textbook.”

At this time, Monds adds that they don’t have any information or confirmation on any other substances. However, they have done testing, and results can take up to a month.

“This was a very complex incident. It started off as a medical call, that ended up turning into a law enforcement situation, as well as a hazardous materials situation,” stated Monds.

The confirmation comes from the NYS Police team that had to clean up after the operation of the hazardous materials.

Monds stated in the conference that no other substances have been confirmed by any agencies at this time and that those affected showed symptoms of fentanyl exposure.

Mayor Walsh added that with some results pending still, he will keep everyone up to date as they hear things.