Shots Fired in Syracuse, Man Allegedly Hides in Church Bathroom with BB Gun
A man quickly walking away from an area where gunshots were heard caught the attention of a Syracuse police officer who attempted to catch up with the man when he grabbed his waistband and ran away.
A media posting on the Syracuse Police Department's Facebook page states that the officer was on routine patrol just after midnight on New Year's Day when he heard the initial shots fired.
The officer chased the man, and saw him enter Saint Luke's Baptist Church, located at 216 Lexington Avenue, through an unlocked door.
Police went in the church and found him hiding inside a stall in the bathroom on the building's lower floor. Police say there was a "short struggle," but the man, identified as 24-year-old Alex Preston of Pattison Street in Syracuse, was taken into custody and brought to the Justice Center building.
Inside the stall, officers allege, they found a BB gun and "crack" cocaine hidden inside the toilet.
Pattison is now facing several charges including obstructing justice, resisting arrest, criminal drug possession, trespassing, and disruption of a religious service.
There were no injuries reported from the original “shots fired” incident. At this time it is believed that the shots heard were fired from the BB gun found by police in the stall, although their investigation is continuing.
Update: 03:01am The Associated Press reports that it could not be determined if Preston has a lawyer.