Standoff on Westcott Street ends with one arrest

Westcott standoff ends with arrest

Police took a 45-year-old man into custody Sunday night after responding to a hostage situation at Hitham’s Pop Shop.
Published: April 18, 2022 | Updated: April 20th, 2022 at 9:42 am
Police speak with the suspect as he briefly steps outside the door. Syracuse Police responded to a hostage situation involving one suspect a at least 2 hostages at Hitham's Pop Shop, a convenience store on Westcott St in Syracuse, around 9pm on Easter Sunday. Photo by Ryan Brady. Taken 4/17/22.
Syracuse Police responded to a hostage situation involving one suspect and two hostages at Hitham's Pop Shop, a convenience store on Westcott Street around 9 p.m. on Sunday.

A standoff between Syracuse Police and people inside a convenience store on Westcott Street ended with an arrest Sunday night.

A man barricaded himself inside Hitham’s Pop Shop at 507 Westcott St. with a woman, a store clerk, and two dogs.

According to Syracuse Police, officers initially responded to a call at the corner of South Beech and Judson streets around 8:45 p.m. A man and woman were walking their dogs, and the man was reportedly waving a gun.

Quickly after officers arrived at the scene, the man, along with the woman and dogs, retreated inside the convenience store and barricaded himself inside. The store was occupied by one other person, the store clerk.

Around the time the call went out, Syracuse University issued an alert asking that students and faculty stay away from the area.

“On Sunday, April 17th, 2022 at approximately 8:44 p.m., the Onondaga County Emergency 911 Center received a report of an incident that occurred on the 500 block of Westcott St. The Syracuse Police Department is on the scene and investigating this incident. We ask that you stay away from the area, at this time. More information to follow.”

The standoff lasted approximately 90 minutes while police and a SWAT team blocked off the street. A helicopter was seen hovering over the area.

When the standoff ended, a man and woman were taken out of the store in handcuffs and placed inside police cars.

A 45-year-old man was arrested, though Syracuse Police has yet to release their name or what they have been charged with. No injuries were reported.

 

UPDATE 4/18: Syracuse Police has released the name of a suspect charged in connection with a standoff inside a Westcott St. convenience store Sunday night.

Fernando Johnson, 45, has been charged with two felonies, second-degree possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm. According to court records, Johnson was also charged with second-degree menacing and seventh-degree possession of a controlled substance. At the time of his arrest, police found crack cocaine in Johnson’s possession.

On Sunday night, Johnson had a loaded handgun in his possession and had pointed it at a woman, who said she was in fear of her life. Following a confrontation with police, Johnson barricaded himself inside Hitham’s Pop Shop with a store clerk and a woman.

Kailey Kozubowski, 22, who was with Johnson inside of the convenience store, was also taken into custody Sunday due to outstanding warrants, according to police. Both Kozubowski and Johnson are being held at the Onondaga County Justice Center.

 

At approxiamtely 10:30 in the evening SWAT was still at the front door waiting. An SPD officer relayed information there were still a couple dogs inside they were waiting to recover. On Easter Sunday at 8:44 PM, Syracuse Police responded to a hostage situation involving one suspect a at least 2 hostages at Hitham's Pop Shop, a convenience store on Westcott St in Syracuse. Photo by Ryan Brady. Taken 4/17/22

At approximately 10:30 p.m., Syracuse SWAT officers were still at the front door waiting as fellow officers looked inside the store where a couple of dogs reportedly were.

The hostage negotiator walks back towards tehe police line from the front door of the store. On Easter Sunday at 8:44 PM, Syracuse Police responded to a hostage situation involving one suspect a at least 2 hostages at Hitham's Pop Shop, a convenience store on Westcott St in Syracuse. Photo by Ryan Brady. Taken 4/17/22

The hostage negotiator walks back towards the police line from the front door of Hitham's Pop Shop.

Avatar for Ashley Reeves

is a Magazine, News and Digital Journalism graduate student and a News Lead Producer for The NewsHouse

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Avatar for Ashley Reeves

is a photographer for The NewsHouse.