Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation Opens Investigation Into Civilian Death in Syracuse

NEW YORK – The New York Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) has opened an investigation into the death of a woman who died on October 20, 2021, following an encounter with members of the Syracuse Police Department (SPD).

In the early hours of October 20, members of SPD responded to a call about an individual with a knife at 216 Ulster Street in Syracuse. When officers, including crisis-trained officers, arrived at the residence, they initiated communications with the individual. At some point after communications began, the individual allegedly set a fire within the residence and charged at officers with a knife. At least one member of SPD shot the individual. She was transported to a hospital where she was pronounced dead at 4:01 am.

Pursuant to New York State Executive Law Section 70-b, OSI assesses every incident reported to it where a police officer or a peace officer, including a corrections officer, may have caused the death of a person, by an act or omission. Under the law, the officer may have been on-duty or off-duty, and the decedent may have been armed or unarmed. Also, the decedent may or may not have been in custody or incarcerated. If OSI’s assessment indicates an officer caused the death, OSI proceeds to conduct a full investigation of the incident.

These are preliminary facts and subject to change.