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Timeline of Ithaca Cop Shooting
A cop gets shot, and police departments across the region join the hunt. Now, a suspect is in custody and Ithaca cops are saying thank you.
October 12, 2012
Ithaca (WENY) - A cop gets shot, and police departments across the region join the hunt. Now, a suspect is in custody and Ithaca cops are saying thank you. Investigators say tips from people in the community, ultimately led to the suspect's capture. It started with an unlocked car with the keys inside. It ended with a gunshot to the chest. Ithaca police Chief, Ed Vallely says a simple task could have stopped the chase from beginning.
“Take your keys out of your car. The majority of police chases across the country or a large share of them are because people leave their keys in their car,” says Vallely. “When you do that, it may be a matter of convenience for yourself but you certainly endanger the community endanger the police officers who know what would have happened had those keys not been in the car.”
According to police, Booker, who's 22 and lives Ithaca, was driving the Toyota Camry when officer Anthony Augustine recognized the stolen car and followed him on a low speed chase. Booker dumped the car here at Elm Crest Circle and ran. Officer Augustine chased Booker on foot through the woods. When Augustine closed in on Booker, he turned and shot the officer in the chest. Deputy Chief John Barber says that the incident has effected everybody in the department.
“We're a small enough department where its like a small family. We know each other wives, husbands, kids so when one of our own takes a shot we come out of the woodwork to come out and support that officer.”
Chief Vallely says that it was more than just the department sticking together. Tips from people in the community played a huge part in Booker's capture. The cops found him in an apartment complex on chestnut street, a quarter mile from where he dumped the car.
“I think that everybody recognizes the shooting of a police officer is a dramatic event and the calls were coming in very quickly. Is it unusual? I don't know that it is especially unusual but it was very gratifying.”
Booker is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, and criminal use of a fire arm. As for officer Augustine was wearing a bullet proof vest is in stable condition. He is expected to make a full recovery.