Man accused of murder, shooting at police arraigned on multiple charges

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester man accused of both murder, and shooting at police during a chase Thursday was arraigned in court Friday morning.

36-year-old Nicholas DeLeon was arraigned on multiple charges including second-degree murder and two counts of attempted aggravated murder of a police officer in the two cases.

First, police say he shot and killed 19-year-old Christian Santiago, of Rochester, on Lamont Place on Wednesday. Rochester Police Capt. Frank Umbrino said the shooting was domestic-related, adding DeLeon had dated Santiago’s, mother when the two got in an argument.

The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office confirmed the relationship to News10NBC on Friday.

The next day, police say around 1 p.m. they spotted DeLeon sitting in the passenger seat of a car on Avenue D near Hollenbeck Street and attempted to pull him over to take him into custody. Instead, officers say the driver sped off, and during a chase, DeLeon fired at least two rounds at police.

"During the pursuit at the intersection of Avenue D and North Clinton, the right front seat passenger out the window, open fire on our officers, firing at least two rounds," Interim Chief David Smith said.

Officers shot back, and police said DeLeon later threw the gun out the window. The gun was later recovered and is being tested.

"We’re making gun arrests every day, most days we’re taking two illegal guns off the street and for every two we get, there seems to be more, in regards to the homicide I can tell you our major crimes unit continues to have one of the highest clearance rates of any crimes unit in the country," Smith said.

The chase soon ended, with DeLeon and the driver being taken into custody without incident. Neither he nor the officers were hurt, according to police. The driver’s name is being withheld.

News10NBC attempted to ask the public defender representing DeLeon for comment after the arraignment, but the courthouse had a full docket, and the PD couldn’t comment at this time. DeLeon is being held in the Monroe County Jail without bail, with a court date set for next Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Police say additional charges may be filed against DeLeon because he has a prior felony criminal possession of a weapon conviction as well as four prior misdemeanor convictions.

In speaking of DeLeon’s relationship with Santiago’s mother, prosecutors mentioned domestic-violence related resources, like the Willow Domestic Violence Center.

"Mr. DeLeon was in a relationship with the victim’s mother, Christian Santiago’s mother, Santiago was 19 years old, Mr. Deleon is alleged to have shot and killed him after a domestic incident," said the DA’s Office Chief of the Domestic Violence Bureau Patrick Gallagher.

If you or a loved one are the victim of domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) provides help in more than 170 languages. Click here for more resources.