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Liverpool mayor applauds Morris’ quick work on murder case

— Violent crimes rarely occur on schedule. They happen when they happen, and police need to be ready to respond at any time.

That’s the way it was on a sunny Monday morning, Oct. 28, when two women were stabbed to death at 915 Second St. in the village of Liverpool.

With one of his full-time officers returning from a training session that morning, Liverpool Police Chief Don Morris answered the call himself.

Liverpool Mayor Gary White, a former deputy chief of the Syracuse Police Department, noted that “a double homicide here is highly unusual.” It’s also unusual for the chief of police to be the one personally pursuing the suspect, the mayor added.

White’s comments were made at the Nov. 18 meeting of the village board of trustees.

“After the 911 call came in, Don grabbed his gear, left his office, jumped into his car and chased the suspect all the way down to Onondaga Lake where he was arrested,” White said. “I want to thank the chief for what he did. We really appreciate his effort.”

The suspect, later identified as 26-year-old Justin A. Dallas of 119 Radisson Court, Syracuse, drove a gold Kia automobile apparently stolen from the murder scene where homeowner Samantha Rainwater, 30, lay dead. Brandy Dallas, 24, was rushed to a hospital where she died.

As he fled the scene, Justin Dallas refused to pull over after Morris turned on his siren and flashing lights.

Sheriff’s deputies Mike Quigley and Karen Munroe joined the pursuit as it continued through the village business district to the main entrance of Onondaga Lake Park, where the Kia turned into the park and drove directly toward the lake at the mouth of Bloody Brook.

Morris and the two deputies followed Dallas into the lake where they subdued him in waist-deep water about 30 feet off shore.

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