Ithaca police held a news conference Friday afternoon to release more information in the shooting of an officer Thursday night. Officer Anthony Augustine was shot around 11 p.m. while chasing a man suspected of stealing a vehicle. YNN's Tamara Lindstrom was at the news conference and has the latest.
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Ithaca Police said a report of a stolen car led to an officer being shot in the chest. Two officers spotted the stolen Camry on Ithaca's West Hill around 11:00 p.m. on Thursday, and gave chase.
"Following a short pursuit, the vehicle made an abrupt turn into Elm Crest Circle, where the driver jumped from the vehicle and fled on foot," said Ed Vallely, Ithaca Police Chief.
The suspect, now identified as Jamel Booker, 22, ran into the woods. Officer Anthony Augustine, a five-year veteran of the department, ran after him. They both emerged near the West Village Apartments at the same time. That is when police said they suspect turned his handgun on the officer.
"The suspect turned and fired one shot, striking officer Augustine in the left upper chest area, and then continued to run in the West Village Apartment complex," explained Vallely.
Augustine was airlifted to a trauma center for treatment. Meanwhile, scores of officers from agencies across the region came in to help with the manhunt. By 5:00 a.m. a SWAT team had Booker in custody. The chief credits multiple tips from the community to the quick capture.
Vallely said, "Your circle of friends and associates generally figure out what happened pretty quickly. And I think it's fair to say they recognized the severity of what this gentleman had done. And realized an unwarranted attack on a police officer is something I think that rises to a level that people just can't accept. And they were kind enough to reach out to us and we very much appreciate their help."
Officer Augustine has had two surgeries since he was shot, and is recovering. His colleagues said he is in good spirits. As for the suspect, Booker is being held on $500,000 cash bail, or $1 million bond.
Watch the news conference in its entirety:
YNN CNY: Suspect charged after Ithaca officer shot
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