A Geneva, Ontario County man, shot in the head Friday night by a Geneva police officer, has died. Strong Memorial Hospital confirms that William Corey Jackson, 33, passed away Monday afternoon.
Police say Jackson was wanted for questioning in connection with a Friday morning robbery when he was shot. They say Jackson was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped around 10:30 p.m. Friday. Two other occupants exited the vehicle without incident when ordered to by police.
"Mr. Jackson was in the backseat of the car and when the officers told him to exit the car he didn't exit the car,” explained Frank Pane, Geneva Police Chief. “He made some movement in the backseat bending over, moving more to the center of the vehicle. After bending down he came up with something the officer thought was a weapon and that's when he fired."
Police say a knife and two cell phones were found in the area of the vehicle occupied by Jackson.
The officer involved in the shooting is Sgt. Carmen Reale. He is a 15 year veteran of the Geneva Police Department and has been a sergeant for the past three years. Chief Pane says Reale is on administrative leave.
"Sgt. Reale is down in the dumps. He's alright but he's not really great," Pane said. “I've been a police officer 45 years in the city of Geneva and this is the first time any officer from the Geneva Police Department shot at another individual."
Pane denied the shooting was racially motivated as some in the community have suggested. Jackson's friends have complained that police waited nearly 12 hours before notifying his family.
"We started looking to notify immediately and we couldn't find any relatives right away,” Pane said. “After three or four hours we determined a couple of aunts and we were able to get a hold of them. So I think the first notifications were made around 3:30, 4 o'clock in the morning. I'm not exactly sure, but it was earlier in the morning, it wasn't no 12 hours."
Pane says the Ontario County Sheriff's Office has agreed to investigate the shooting while Geneva Police conduct an internal investigation.
Pane says he expects the Sheriff's Office to turn its findings over to the Ontario County
District Attorney who will then present the case to a grand jury.