The man who police say shot and killed two people over the weekend and injured another was high on the drug called "water" when he pulled the trigger.
According to Syracuse Police, 28-year-old Martinous Hudson of Liverpool fatally shot Lavonna Hamilton, 17, and Maurice Miller, 24, while riding in a van on West Glen Avenue, about a half mile north of Meachem Field on Syracuse's south side.
Police said Hudson also shot Eric Bellamy, 24. Bellamy is expected to recover.
This double homicide has raised questions about what exactly the drug "water" is, and how prevalent its use is in Syracuse and surrounding communities. Have you ever heard of this drug? Do you know of anyone who has used it?
Sergeant Gary Bulinksi of the Syracuse Police Department said "water" is the street name for a cigarette or marijuana joint dipped in liquid PCP, or embalming fluid laced with PCP.
He said he has seen the effects this drug has on users, saying they often become disoriented and enraged along with a high threshold for pain.
Embalming fluid is used in funeral homes across Central New York.
Charles Garland, of Garland Brothers Funeral Home in Syracuse, said most funeral homes have embalming fluid locked up, but noted a few instances where people have tried to get their hands it. In one instance, he said a man posed as a worker from his funeral home and went to another local funeral home to get embalming fluid. Garland said at Gethers Funeral Home on South Aveunue in Syracuse, people have tried breaking in to steal embalming fluid.
Garland said he would like to see the sale of embalming fluid regulated, even if that means an increase in price.
Right now, a bill in the New York State Assembly aims to curb the abuse of embalming fluid, making it a class A misdemeanor to possess embalming fluid with the intent to use it for ingestion or inhalation, or to sell it to another person for that purpose.
The bill, which was sponsored by State Senator Dave Valesky, passed the State Senate earlier this year.
However, he said embalming fluid isn't the only problem when it comes to the drug "water." The main ingredient in embalming fluid is formaldehyde, which he said can be found in science labs and hospitals.