Crime Analysis Center’s quick work helped catch Albany shooting suspect

ALBANY – The staff inside the Capital Region Crime Analysis Center in Albany assists local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies 71,000 times a year.

When reports of a shooting came in just after 1:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, the center swung into quick action.

Crime Analysis Center helps find shooter

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“The people here that work at the center are here for a reason,” said Todd Weiss, Director of the CRCAC. “They all want to help. They want to be part of a solution and they want to know that what they do makes a difference. That’s what makes us so unique.”

What the Crime Analysis staff was able to do Wednesday afternoon was determine that a white Mercedes sedan was speeding away from a shooting scene on Hudson Avenue in Albany, navigating city streets, and heading for the NYS Thruway.

Between 1:03 p.m. and 2:55 p.m. that Mercedes was southbound on the Thruway, which is where state troopers pulled it over and then shot and killed the driver, Rakim Tillery, 35, of Albany during a brief gun fight.

“It was important that we brought that person to justice so that this person could not cause any further harm or destruction in our community,” Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said.

The technology that brought resolution to a dangerous situation in less than two hours time should send a message to anyone else contemplating violence, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said.

“When people ask what are we doing to fight crime, this is an example of what we are doing,” said Sheehan. “We will continue to invest in this ability to respond to ensure that we get dangerous people off our streets as quickly as humanly possible.”

The Capital Region Crime Analysis Center is one of 11 similar centers statewide. It serves 350 law enforcement agencies in 49 counties.

“The crimes that we support aren’t just the headline makers that you see out there,” Weiss said. “In addition to the shootings and murders that get a lot of coverage, we’re also supporting what the problems are for each of that partner agencies that we have.”

The two state troopers involved in the shootout were both treated and released from a Westchester hospital.

The man Tillery allegedly shot was listed in critical condition Thursday night at Albany Medical Center.

Albany Police remain tight-lipped about a possible motive or what – if any – relationship there may have been involving Tillery and the victim.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has expanded state funding for the center network since taking office. The current state budget (FY 24) includes $17 million to support the network. Just two years ago, state funds allocated for the network totaled about $8 million.