Shots rang out at a candlelight vigil in Upstate New York on Tuesday night, leaving a 12-year-old shot in the face. Now police are struggling to find even basic leads and information as a community refuses to cooperate in the investigation.


The vigil was being held on Columbia Street in Utica on August 16. Around 8:30, the bullets were fired. The child was taken to a Utica hospital, then transferred to Syracuse’s Upstate University Hospital. That’s where doctors removed a 9mm round lodged in the child’s jaw. Thankfully, he will survive.

An Uncooperative Public


Near the scene, Utica Police also found a 29-year-old man who had been shot multiple times. The man refused to give any information on what happened – when asked by officers who shot him, he told them it was “Santa Claus” according to The man was sent to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Utica’s Police expressed their frustration with the public’s desire to withhold information. In a press release to CNYCentral, the Department talked about their wish to solve this case in the name of protecting more children from a similar situation.

“[Cases] that involve innocent young victims add an additional layer of expedience to our investigators to find those responsible. Uncooperative victims and witnesses only harm our ability to bring justice for those harmed.”

On their initial investigation, officers found more than 20 bullet casings on the ground and five vehicles that had been hit by gunfire. The larger number of spent shells leads Utica PD to suspect multiple gunmen. The motive for the shooting is still unknown.

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