Questions, delays continue over deadly shooting investigation involving off-duty Albany cop

March 01, 2019 02:36 PM

A crucial piece of evidence in the case of a deadly shooting involving an off-duty Albany policeman is on its way to a forensics lab in Pittsburgh after the first round of testing in the Capital District revealed multiple DNA hits on the knife.

The district attorney in Utica wants to get this to a grand jury, but for now, there's a delay.


Last month, Utica police say off-duty Albany Police Officer Christofer Kitto shot and killed 35-year-old Shatelle Hooks of Syracuse after a fight at a home in Utica.  It was 5 a.m. and police say Kitto, a father and husband, was patronizing a prostitute when Hooks reportedly pulled a knife on Kitto, attempting to rob him.

The NYS Police Forensics Investigation Center in Albany recently tested that knife and developed multiple DNA profiles they don't have the capability to do further testing on for now.

According to a spokesman, state police made a business decision to cancel a previous contract with cybergenetics due to delays in training and implementation that were necessitated by an internal investigation -- and have since initiated a new procurement for probabilistic genotyping software.

Ironically, Utica police sent those DNA samples to the same Pittsburgh based Cybergenetics on Tuesday.  The Oneida County District Attorney was hoping to get the case to a grand jury sooner.

For now, Utica police say the shooting appears to be a justifiable homicide.

NewsChannel 13 reached out to Cybergenetics in Pittsburgh, but their chief scientific officer can't comment on a pending case.


Jill Konopka & WNYT Staff

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