Victim of brutal, random attack in Syracuse dies from his injuries

Romeo Williams facing additional charges in death of James Gifford

James Gifford, the 70-year-old man who was randomly attacked on Saturday, has died of his injuries, according to Syracuse Police.

The attack happened at about 6:05 a.m. on Saturday in front of the 7-Eleven store at 101 Valley Drive in Syracuse.

Romeo Williams, 18, has already been charged with assault in connection to the attack. Syracuse police and the Onondaga County District Attorneyâ??s office will meet to decide what further charges to bring against Williams now that this is a homicide case.

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick says he's not in a rush to update the charges against Williams since he's already in jail. Fitzpatrick says his office will take time to thoroughly investigate the case.

Williams is being held in the Onondaga County Justice Center without bail.

Kym Everson got to know Gifford after working with him at Van Duyn Hospital. Now as a Centro bus driver, she remembers countless times helping Gifford board the bus with his walker or cane.

"He was somebody who didn't hurt anybody. He was nice to everybody, even people he didn't know. He spoke to everyone. If there were kids coming from school and they needed change for the bus, he'd give it to them," says Everson.

General Davis is a former gang member who now dedicates his life to gang prevention. He says the problems that lead to this kind of senseless violence start in the home.

"They don't have a father in the house. Their education isn't up to par. There's no mentorship or leadership to help these kids," says Davis.