UTICA – Utica police have released more information regarding the shots fired incident outside Proctor High School yesterday afternoon.
Police say three people were sitting in a red sedan on Hilton Avenue around 2:30 p.m. yesterday when one of them tried shooting someone outside of the car, but they missed and the bullet hit a school bus parked in a nearby lot with about 20 students inside.
The bullet grazed and broke a bus window, then got lodged into the window panel, narrowly missing a student inside.
Police say they’ve located the red sedan but they haven’t arrested the suspect yet. Police wouldn’t divulge whether the shooter is a student or not, but they say they hope to make an arrest soon.
Police Chief Mark Williams say that at the time of the shooting, officers at Proctor High School were dealing with another act of violence inside the school.
While many are wondering why the school wasn’t placed on lockdown, the director of security for the school district says it wasn’t necessary at that time.
“Everybody had left the scene, as far as the suspects, so there was no need to lock down any other school at that time,” said John Syrotynski, director of security for the Utica City School District.
“We had uniform patrol officers that regularly work the school,” Chief Williams said. “Unfortunately we had the perfect storm and around the same time, just before the shots fired incident, we had a large fight call inside the school, so those officers that were traditionally on the Hilton Avenue street side of the school were now called into the school to break up that fight. Had that not happened, with the police presence there I’d like to think it’d be unlikely that that shots fired incident would have happened.”
Chief Williams says the suspect will face charges that will include jail time if convicted.
Officials say they are taking the situation seriously, and during school dismissal today there were extra officers on hand to make sure students were safe and to watch for suspicious activity.