Man shot dead by detectives in Schenectady had criminal past

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The police tape is starting to come down more than 24 hours after the officer-involved shooting in Schenectady, but many questions still remain about what happened Monday night, and if any of it was caught on camera.

Police have been on the scene all day, and it’s still an active investigation.

Police say 33-year-old Joshua Scism was shot and killed after police say he pulled a gun on two plain clothes detectives on Monday evening.

According to officials, Scism pointed his gun at Ferris and Kent and when that happened, one of the detectives opened fire.

“They saw the gun. They exited the vehicle. As they’re producing their weapons and identifying themselves he now has his gun out and that’s when the exchange took place,” Schenectady Police said.

Those two detectives are now being identified as Ryan Kent and Brett Ferris. Kent is a 10-year veteran on the force and Ferris has been there for 9 years.

“Both are outstanding detectives,’ said a spokesman for the department. “Relatively young as far as a detective will go. They both have received commendations.”

Police say their actions last night are why they’re safe now.

“Completely totally utterly justified in the actions that they took,” the spokesperson said

They were in the area of Sunset Street and First Avenue conducting a criminal investigation that police say had nothing to do with Scism.

“He was not the target of the investigation or the reason the detectives were at that location,” police say.

Police wouldn’t discuss Scism’s criminal history, but the county did release a mugshot of him.

Saratoga Springs Police told News10 Scism was arrested in 2012 for weapons and drug charges there. Scism is also a registered level 1 sex offender. Another police department tells NEWS10 his victim was a 13-year-old girl who he didn’t know.

One man in the neighborhood says he’s known Scism for five years and considers him a good guy, regardless of his previous arrests. He said, “Everyone gets in trouble.”

According to the neighbor he also has a wife and four kids.

When we asked Schenectady Police if the community is safer without Scism they replied.

“It was an individual who pointed a firearm at two police officers. Draw your own conclusions.”

Standing by the statement that Ferris and Kent acted appropriately.

“Initial indications appear this is a good shoot. No reason to suspect that it’s not and no reason to suspect there will be any other outcome other than that.”

“You point a firearm at a police officer you can expect for the officers to respond with deadly physical force.”

The question now is if any of the incident was caught on camera? Police say there’s no dashcam video.

“The two detectives were in an unmarked vehicle. Our unmarked vehicles are not equipped with dash cams,” the spokesperson said.

Police could not confirm if several security camera on Scism’s home were working.

“We executed a search warrant at that house last night. Beyond that we’re not willing to comment on what was or was not recovered.”

Ferris and Kent are both on administrative leave. The district attorney’s office and state police are assisting with the investigation. An autopsy of Scism’s body was scheduled for Tuesday.


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