Report: Syracuse Man Charged with Killing Infant Has History of Crime, College Success
A 23-year-old Syracuse man accused of shooting into a vehicle, killing an infant and injuring two young children has a criminal background that includes accusations of shooting a teenager in the head, according to The Post Standard. However, there are other reports that seem to show he'd changed his ways.
Chavez Ocasio is being held in Onondaga County Jail on charges murder, tampering with evidence and weapons possession in connection in the drive-by shooting incident over the weekend that killed Dior Harris, an infant child who was set to celebrate her first birthday in less than three weeks. Two other children who were also hit by bullets, ages 3 and 8, are expected to survive.
The Post Standard reviewed records that show Ocasio has faced legal troubles since he was a young teen. Also, in 2014 at the age of 17, Ocasio faced charges for allegedly shooting another teenager in the head. The outcome of the case seems to have been sealed as the outlet reported they could not find any public documents related to the case, but said he was ultimately freed from jail less than a year later.
Reporters also uncovered a Student Spotlight article on the Onondaga Community College website, outlining an apparent 180-degree turn in Ocasio's lifestyle:
''Chavez Ocasio is getting a second chance at life and taking full advantage of the opportunity. He's gone from being incarcerated to being inducted into OCC's chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa.''
That article was posted just six months ago and includes a photo of a smiling Ocasio with a sub-heading that reads: 'Chavez Ocasio is excelling in OCC's Business Technology degree program.'
It also includes this quote from Ocasio:
"Just because you have a bad moment, that's not who you are. People can change. Real people elevate. It makes you stronger when you get caught up in a bad situation and get out."
The Post Standard report says the 23-year-old allegedly wiped his phone clean while in police custody following the shooting, and says according to Ocasio's LinkedIn profile, he celebrated the birth of a daughter just one month ago:
Police say the suspect vehicle in Sunday’s murder had been registered to Ocasio, 23, of Grant Boulevard. And while being questioned Monday evening while in police custody, Ocasio erased all the data off his iPhone, according to a criminal complaint.
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