N. Syracuse teacher accused of fatally shooting brother-in-law

James Ball/ Onondaga County Sheriff's Office

The Onondaga County Sheriff's Office confirms the man charged with murder for a deadly shooting in Cicero is a teacher in the North Syracuse Central School District.

James Ball, 55, was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree criminal use of a firearm for the shooting death of his brother-in-law, 40-year-old Christopher Ross. The North Syracuse Central School District website lists Ball as a 4th grade teacher at Smith Road Elementary School.

"We are deeply saddened by this devastating incident," the school district said in a statement. "Our school district's primary concern is to help students, staff and community cope during this difficult time."

Onondaga County Sheriff's Deputies, along with the Cicero Police Department, responded to 8468 Chinkapin Circle in Cicero around 5 a.m. Tuesday for a 911 call about a shooting. They found Ross at the residence with multiple gunshot wounds.

Sheriff Eugene J. Conway said in a press conference that there was a physical confrontation at the residence between Ball and Ross and alcohol was involved. Ball's wife had attempted to separate the two and briefly succeeded, Conway said, however at some point Ball allegedly fetched a 22 caliber rifle and shot Ross multiple times in his upper extremities, according to Conway.

Ross was taken to Upstate University Hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries shortly after arrival.

Sheriff Conway said investigators are working to obtain a warrant to investigate further at the residence where the shooting occurred. Conway added that there is no perceived threat to the public.

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