Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs / Sun Staff Writer

Police have apprehended the suspect allegedly responsible for a homicide in Walmart's parking lot early Thursday morning.

December 9, 2016

Court Docs Detail Murder Suspect’s Confession, Testimony from Witnesses

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The man accused of shooting and running over a UPS worker in the Ithaca Walmart parking lot has confessed to murdering the Candor man and firing a shot near pursuing officers, according to a felony complaint filed by Ithaca police in Ithaca City Court.

In a recorded interview with police, Justin R. Barkley, 38, of Ithaca, said he shot William Schumacher, 52, of Candor, in the chest with a .30-06 caliber rifle, according to the complaint. He also “stated that he had intentionally driven over the body of the victim and spun his tires, before subsequently being involved in a brief pursuit with the police behind him.”

That quarter-mile pursuit ended, police say, when Barkley pulled into the driveway of his residence on the 1200-block of Dryden Road and fired a shot toward officers — who did not return fire and were uninjured — before entering his house, commencing a nearly six-hour long standoff with police.



Barkley told police that the shot he fired toward police was a “sound shot” intended “to prevent the police officers from exiting their patrol vehicles,” according to the complaint. Police interviewed Barkley at New York State Police barracks on Dryden Road, about three miles from where the standoff took place.

Police took Barkley into custody at around 9:43 a.m., after negotiators used a robot to communicate with Barkley and convince him to walk out of his front door.

Barkley has been charged with murder in the second degree, a Class A-1 felony, and is being held in Tompkins County Jail without bail.

Witness statements in the complaint confirm what witnesses from the scene previously told The Sun and provide some new details.

One witness — whose name is redacted in the complaint but appears be John Thorna, of Newfield, who spoke to The Sun from the scene — told police he made small talk with the UPS driver in the Walmart checkout line. The driver appeared to be “in a good mood” and the two joked and pointed out some oversized lighters Walmart featured next to the checkout line.

The witness told police that immediately after he heard a gunshot and saw Schumacher fall, the driver of a black truck stuck his head “just outside the window to look behind the truck toward [Schumacher] who had just hit the ground.”

“The male driver in the truck then put his head back inside the window, rolled the window up, then proceeded to back his truck up out of the parking spot,” the witness said in the complaint. The driver then “continued to drive forward towards the Walmart entrance” and “run over right across [Schumacher’s] back.”

The white man driving the truck “did not appear to be in a hurry until after he ran over” Schumacher, the witness said. “He rolled up his window and backed out of his parking spot like a normal customer.”

Schumacher was face down on his stomach with blood around him, but appeared to be breathing when the witness approached him after calling 911, according to the complaint. “The police showed up right away,” the witness said.

Medics performed CPR on Schumacher for several minutes around 1 a.m. before placing a white sheet over his body, The Sun previously reported.

Linda Kemp, 68, told The Sun on Thursday that she was also at Walmart behind Thorna and the UPS driver, who she said bought a pack of Marlboros and said he worked 13-hour days.

A second witness, whose name is redacted in the complaint, said a UPS truck pulled into the parking lot around 12:20 a.m. on Thursday while the witness was in a car, playing games on a phone.

The 32-year-old witness added that the UPS driver was in Walmart for around 15 minutes before coming out with a Walmart bag filled with something “small and heavy,” possibly a drink.

The witness then heard a bang so loud that the 32-year-old thought it was a transformer exploding and looked toward the power lines, according to the complaint.

“The explosion didn’t sound like rifle fire. It sounded louder and I felt it,” the witness said, adding, “I shot an AR yesterday while in the woods and it didn’t sound like that.”

Instead, the witness heard tires screeching following the apparent gunshot and saw a black Chevy Silverado drive toward the store, swerving as if the driver “was avoiding something in the road,” according to the complaint.

“Then I see his truck bounce as if it had hit something,” the witness continued.

Lance Salisbury, supervising attorney of the Tompkins County Assigned Counsel Office — who represented Barkley at his arraignment Thursday — could not immediately be reached Friday.

Barkley will be in Ithaca City Court on Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. for a preliminary hearing.