One dead in officer involved-shooting near Regional Transportation Center

Police respond to the Regional Transportation Center Thursday evening / photo: Matt Mulcahy

Sunday Night Update:

The Syracuse Police Department and Onondaga County Sheriff's Office have released the names of the officers involved in the deadly, police-involved shooting on Thursday night near the Regional Transportation Center.

Here are the names:

Detective/Sgt. Anthony Rossillo, age 46. Sgt Rossillo is a twenty-five year veteran of the Syracuse Police Department. He is currently assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division.

Deputy Michael Hoosock, age 24. Deputy Hoosock is a four year veteran of the Onondaga County Sheriff TMs Department. He is currently assigned to the patrol division, Operation IMPACT detail.

Deputy Adam Quku, age 27. Deputy Quku is a five year veteran of the Onondaga County Sheriff TMs Department. He is currently assigned to the patrol division, Operation IMPACT detail.

Syracuse Police say all three are currently on paid, administrative leave and have never been part of an officer-involved shooting before. The case is still under investigation. Police Chief Frank Fowler said all three were just in their actions.

From the Friday afternoon news conference:

Syracuse Police and the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office held a news conference Friday afternoon to discuss details of a police-involved shooting Thursday night.

Police say the name of the suspect is Benjamin Campione. He is 55 years old, from 120 Court Terrace in Syracuse. Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler says that when Campione was confronted by a police officer and two sheriff's deputies, he pulled a pellet gun that looks exactly like a Smith & Wesson revolver from his waistband.

Police say that when confronted by officers, Campione went into a crouching position and aimed a gun at an officer. Police immediately took cover behind their cars and opened fire. Fowler says it appears to be a case of "suicide by cop". He pointed out that Campione has military training and would have known that his actions would force officers to defend themselves.

Also, CNY Central's Jim Kenyon talked with two cousins of the man gunned down by police during the confrontation at the Regional Transportation Center in Syracuse. Debbie Pascarella and Theresa Newton say he was a former green beret who suffered from a number of mental problems and is considered a disabled war veteran. They describe him as living a tragic life, often homeless and wandering the streets of Syracuse. He lived with his parents off and on, but both have been deceased with his father passing away just last year. They say he was "never violent."

The cousins confirmed that Campione would sometimes carry a pellet gun, which would be used for show. Pascarella and Newton do not fault the police if in fact they thought Campione was armed when the shootings occurred.

Both are hoping for a complete investigation, and want people to remember their cousin as a war veteran who lived a tragic life that ended in a tragic way.

Original story from Thursday night:

One person is dead after an officer-involved shooting along Park Street near the Regional Transportation Center in Syracuse, according to police on the scene. The person killed is not an officer.

Syracuse Police say a call came in around 6:45 p.m. of a man with a gun at the Market Diner in front of the Regional Market. Police say he may have been intoxicated.

Syracuse Police with Operation Impact Officers responded to the scene along with Onondaga County Sheriff's deputies and New York State Police.

Police say the man was in the parking lot of the Regional Transportation Center when they arrived. They say he had a gun and pointed it at the officers. Investigators say officers fired, hitting the man. Police are not saying which officers fired or how many shots were discharged. None of the officers were hurt.

The man was taken to Upstate University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Workers at the diner say they alerted police that the customer was carrying a gun, just minutes before he was fatally shot by police in a parking lot across the street.

Tami Zimmerman, a waitress at the Market Diner, told WSYR-TV that when she took the man's order Thursday evening, he was acting strangely and had alcohol on his breath.

When he removed his jacket, other workers noticed he had a gun. When the man left the diner, employees called 911.

A Centro bus was in the middle of the scene, but that bus was later allowed to continue on with its route.

Police have not yet released the suspect's name. They say they expect to make more information available on Friday afternoon.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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