Suspect arrested after car chase, manhunt in Livingston County
A man is in critical condition after a shooting in Bath late Monday night, and a suspect was taken into custody early Tuesday morning following a car chase and a manhunt involving multiple police agencies in Livingston County.
The suspect, Steven Alexander, 24, of Rochester, was charged with first-degree assault, a Class B felony, according to New York State Police.
The victim, identified only as a black male, is in critical condition at Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital. He was shot in the head and chest with a handgun, authorities say.
According to Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker, police responded to a 911 call at approximately 11:45 p.m. Monday at 42 Belfast St., a boarding house off West Washington Street just outside the grounds of the Bath VA Medical Center.
Police got a description of a vehicle seen leaving the scene, and the vehicle was later spotted by a Livingston County sheriff’s deputy in Livingston County. A brief car chase ensued, ending with the vehicle crashing, and three men fled on foot, Baker said.
Multiple police agencies - including state police, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office - set up a perimeter and began searching with cruisers, foot patrols, canine units, and a helicopter. Area residents were warned to stay inside.
One of the men was reportedly caught around 5 a.m. Tuesday in Lima, about 20 miles south of Rochester. The other two men were found in a field in nearby Mendon around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The two men who were with Alexander had not been charged as of Tuesday afternoon.
All three men were questioned at the state police barracks in Livingston County after they were apprehended. Authorities also questioned witnesses Tuesday.
Alexander and the victim knew each other, Baker said. The shooting may have been drug-related, but the investigation is ongoing, Baker added.
Investigators from the Steuben County District Attorney’s Drug Initiative Task Force assisted with the investigation. The task force is comprised of investigators from multiple agencies including the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, Bath Police Department and Corning Police Department.
“The shooting occurred in a location which is known for drug activity, and we utilized some of the resources from our Drug Initiative to help identify subjects and connections,” Baker said. “Whether or not this is a drug-related situation or a different motive - it could be over any number of things including simply a personal disagreement - I don’t know yet.
“But the location is one that is known to our drug investigators and to law enforcement as being a location where drug activity is a reality,” Baker added. “And some of the folks we are dealing with in the investigation, based on the information we have, are part of that world.”
The Bath Police Department and Bath-based New York State Police were the first to arrive at the scene of the shooting in Bath, with Bath Police Chief Dave Rouse initially leading the investigation.
A state police Forensics Investigation Unit later processed the scene, collecting evidence, and state police took the lead on the investigation.
Many of the officers and investigators who responded never slept Monday night, said Baker, who called it “a great cooperative effort” in tracking down the suspect.
Baker said he was hopeful for the victim, but said it was possible the case could become a homicide investigation given the severity of the victim’s gunshot wounds.