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Police make arrest in Ohio Street drive-by shooting

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The victim’s father in Monday’s drive-by shooting on Ohio Street said he can go to bed feeling safe again after Watertown police made an arrest Thursday afternoon.

About 2:30 p.m., police charged Austin L. Scudera, of 327 W. Main St., with second-degree attempted murder and first-degree criminal use of firearm. Both are Class B felonies.

He is accused of shooting Robert C. Hunt III, 24, Three Mile Bay, while Mr. Hunt was sitting in his car on Ohio Street near Michigan Avenue about 1 a.m. Monday after a visit to a friend.

His father, Robert C. Hunt Jr., got the news from police shortly after the arrest. Earlier this week, he said his family was afraid the person responsible was on the loose.

“We feel better now that they caught the kid, because now he’s not going to be shooting anyone else,” the father said.

His son remains stable in an unidentified Syracuse hospital. When Mr. Hunt was talking to a reporter, he was sitting next to his son in his hospital room, saying that “he’s doing good,” even though he is “on a breathing machine.”

Mr. Scudera is being held at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building on no bail. He was to be arraigned this morning in City Court.

Early Thursday night, neighbors said they also were relieved police apprehended the alleged shooter, saying they have been nervous since it happened.

“It was quite close,” said Denise H. Berwick, who lives down the street from where at least four shots rang out Monday morning. “I’m glad they got him. Well done for police.”

When told about the arrest, Ohio Street resident Kimberly J. Maitland, whose house Mr. Hunt was visiting when he was shot, felt reassured the case may be solved.

“That’s wonderful,” she said initially. “Every night, we’ve been going to bed in fear.”

She insisted that the victim and her children do not know the alleged shooter ; they were in the backyard having a bonfire when Mr. Hunt went to his car and then was shot. She was upset how her neighbors portrayed her street to the media.

“This is a great neighborhood,” she said. “I have a beautiful house. (Mr. Scudera) has no contact with us. Go to West Main Street to find out about him.”

Police gave no indication of what the motive for the shooting may have been.

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