A vehicle shooting took place at this Sunoco Gas Station on State Street last week in Watertown. Emil Lippe/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — City police have made an arrest in connection to a parking-lot shooting at the Sunoco Food Mart on State Street last week.

James C. Whitfield, 31, was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Mr. Whitfield had been wanted by state parole since May 2018 after he was convicted of first-degree attempted robbery out of New York City.

The arrest comes after city police responded to the Sunoco at 610 State Street to reports of shots fired at about 1:30 a.m. last Wednesday.

Police learned four people were in a vehicle exiting the gas station when a man standing in the parking lot fired at least one shot at the vehicle, striking a rear tire and causing it to flatten. There were no reported injuries, and the vehicle was able to drive a few blocks away.

Mr. Whitfield allegedly fled the scene in a red Ford Escape. During the investigation, Mr. Whitfield was identified as the suspect, and on Tuesday he surrendered to members of the Watertown Police Department’s Special Response Team and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team. He was arrested on the parole warrant and held at the Metro-Jeff Public Safety Building. He is set to be arraigned in city court at a later date.

During this investigation, city police received assistance from the Metro-Jeff Drug Task Force, North Country Crime Analysis Center, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, state police, state parole, NY/NJ High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, the New York City Police Department, and the city of Watertown Department of Public Works and CitiBus.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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