12-year-old Syracuse boy dies after being shot

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Officials sought the public’s help Thursday in providing information on the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old Syracuse boy, the city’s latest case of children being hit by gunfire.

The shooting happened around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on the city’s north side, Syracuse police Sgt. Richard Helterline. He said the boy was struck near his stomach, and a 33-year-old woman was grazed on the arm when gunfire erupted on John Street.

Syracuse.com reports witnesses told police the boy ran into a convenience store after he was shot, and another woman put the boy in her car and drove him to Upstate University Hospital, where police said he died around 3 a.m. Thursday.

Police identified him later Thursday as James Springer III. The woman who was grazed was treated at a hospital for her injury.

Police Chief Frank Fowler and Mayor Ben Walsh held a news conference during which they urged anyone with information on the shooting to contact investigators. Without revealing details, Fowler said something that happened in the days before the shooting should’ve been brought to the attention of police.

“Had folks in that neighborhood called the police, we would’ve been able to intervene,” Fowler said. “I’m not saying that we would’ve saved this child’s life. But I’m saying to you that I would love to have had a chance to save this child’s life.”

Walsh was among the city officials who met with the boy’s grieving family at the hospital.

“I am profoundly sad and extremely angry,” Walsh said. “It’s the second child that we’ve lost to gun violence in the last week.”

A 15-year-old boy was fatally shot on a city street Oct. 3. On Sept. 20, an 8-year-old girl was among five people wounded by gunfire at a memorial ceremony for a man who recently died of cancer. Soon afterward, a 14-year-old girl was shot and wounded a few blocks away from the home where the ceremony was held.

James Springer III was in the sixth grade at Grant Middle School. District officials say social workers and counselors have been sent to the school to help students and staff.