Investigation into Schenectady homicide continues; Resident tells of bullet through house

Cynthia Farmer shows tape covering a bullet hole that exited from her living room in Tuesday night's shooting
Cynthia Farmer shows tape covering a bullet hole that exited from her living room in Tuesday night's shooting

SCHENECTADY – Cynthia Farmer remembers a group of people outside her Vale neighborhood home late Tuesday night while she was in her living room watching TV. Then she heard shots.

She recalled going to the floor, seeing people running, calling 911 and crawling to check on her mother upstairs to see if she was OK.

Then she looked around. 

“I saw the window was cracked. I turned the light on and realized a bullet had come through the house,” Farmer said. She learned later from police that it had come within approximately 6 inches of hitting her.

Farmer was unharmed, as was her mother. Outside, though, police said the shots hit two people; one, 48-year-old Schenectady resident Fred Gentry, died of his wounds.

Police were called to Victory Avenue near Catherine Street at about 11:10 p.m. Tuesday for a report of shots fired, police said. En route they received reports of potential victims, police said.

Arriving officers found a 28-year-old woman on Victory Avenue suffering a gunshot wound to her leg, police said.

They then found Gentry a short distance away at the intersection of Victory Avenue and Catherine Street suffering from a gunshot wound to his neck and face area, city police spokesman Sgt. Matthew Dearing has said.

Gentry was taken to Ellis Hospital, where he died.

Police on Thursday continued their investigation into the shooting. A police spokesman offered no new details.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact the Schenectady Police Department TIPS line at 518-788-6566.

Farmer’s son, Omar McGill, who ran for county Legislature last year, posted about the incident with his mother on Facebook Wednesday. 

“I thank God my mother and grandmother are still here. But as I write this my eyes are tearing up cause I know things could of been different,” he wrote in a post that had garnered more than 500 reactions and 200 comments by Thursday.

Farmer said she has lived in her home at Chestnut and Victory for 50 years. It’s the first thing anything like this has happened at her house in that time, she said.

She said she and her mother are OK, but their thoughts are also with the family of the man who died.

“We’re just happy that we’re bless that God covered us,” Farmer said. “I feel bad for the family that lost their loved one.”


Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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