Mom of teen driving stolen car in which 2 Syracuse teens were killed drops claim against county

Deputies at shooting off Teall Ave.

Onondaga County sheriffs at the scene of a shooting on Mooney Ave in Syracuse. Sept 6, 2023. Dennis Nett |

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Syracuse, N.Y. -- The mother of a teen driving a stolen car when a deputy shot two other teens has dropped a claim against the deputy and sheriff’s office after taking the first steps to sue.

Lacey Wright filed a notice of claim -- the first step in filing a lawsuit -- against the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy John Rosello on behalf of her 17-year-old son, Javon Camber, in December.

On Thursday, Onondaga County Attorney Robert Durr confirmed to | The Post-Standard that the claim had been dropped and will not continue to a lawsuit.

Camber was driving a stolen Hyundai on Oct. 6 when a deputy arrived and opened fire at the vehicle when the car drove toward him to flee on Oct. 6, according to the claim. The two passengers in the Hyundai, Dhal Apet, 17, and Lueth Mo, 15, were killed.

The teens were in a parking lot near the Midler Meadows mobile home park on North Midler Avenue in DeWitt when a 911 caller reported a group of males moving items between two cars.

Rosello was investigating two burglaries overnight in the area and the cars seen in the parking lot were suspected to be connected to the burglaries. Rosello responded to the 911 call and arrived at the parking lot.

As he pulled up, he crashed his patrol vehicle bumper-to-bumper with the Hyundai, according to a video released by the state Attorney General’s Office. He then got out of the patrol car and began walking toward the Hyundai.

The car drove directly at the deputy and he pulled out his gun before getting out of the way. It is unclear when he fired the fatal shots because there is no audio in the only video of the incident. Three shots were fired into the car.

After the shooting, the Hyundai fled before later crashing on Mooney Avenue in Syracuse where one teen was found dead and the other dying. The driver fled the scene.

The claim accused Rosello of assault and said that Wright and her son have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues as a result of the incident. The action also accused the sheriff’s office of failing in the training of the deputy.

When the claim was filed, Wright and her lawyer declined to comment. At the same time, the president of the Onondaga County Sheriffs’ Police Association, Laura Collins, called the claim “frivolous” and said that the person “who caused the alleged harm” was seeking to profit from the situation.

On Friday, | The Post Standard reached out to Wright, who was not immediately available for comment.

Since the incident on Oct. 6, Camber was arrested in Rochester for allegedly stealing a car. He was taken into custody before being released to his parents, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said after his arrest.

Camber has not been charged for driving the stolen car on Oct. 6. Fitzpatrick has said the driver has not been charged because he and state Attorney General Letitia James disagree over who has jurisdiction to charge the driver.

The county still faces two federal lawsuits filed by the families of the two teens who died, Durr said Thursday. Those lawsuits alleged excessive force and wrongful death.

The state Attorney General’s Office continues to investigate whether there was any wrongdoing by Rosello. The AG’s office will also determine if criminal charges should be filed against him.

Staff writer Anne Hayes covers breaking news, crime and public safety. Have a tip, a story idea, a question or a comment? You can reach her at

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Staff writer Anne Hayes covers breaking news, crime and public safety. Have a tip, a story idea, a question or a comment? You can reach her at

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