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Investigation continues into incident in East Rochester where officer and suspect exchanged gunfire

East Rochester Police car (file photo).
East Rochester Police Dept.
East Rochester Police car (file photo).

East Rochester Police are releasing more information about an incident on Sunday where one of their officers and a suspect exchanged gunfire.

The round fired at Officer Brad Steve was stopped by his bulletproof vest. The suspect, 50-year-old Raymond Nole, was struck by a bullet in the upper torso.

Both men were taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

East Rochester Police Chief Mike Brandenburg noted that the officer was wearing the type of vest that goes on the outside of his uniform.

“So he had some equipment on the outside of his vest...handcuffs, tourniquets, those kind of items,” said Brandenburg. “So the round did penetrate the handcuffs that were on his vest, and subsequently did get to the ballistic material but never got through the ballistic material.”

But even so, the chief said getting hit with a bullet in the ballistic vest still hurts a lot.

“It’s kind of akin to being hit with a baseball bat in the ribs, so you’re sore, a little bruised up,” said Brandenburg.

Brandenburg said that Steve is a part-time employee, but he is a veteran officer, whose career includes about 19 years with the Brighton Police department.

Brandenburg said that experience helped Steve deal with the situation.

“He was still able to do his business in a professional manner, give directions and was able to complete what he had to do,” said Brandenburg. “Of course, after the suspect was put in custody and medical treatments were starting to be given, that’s when he really had to take a look at himself.” (to see how seriously he had been injured).

Another officer who was at the scene, Kyle Walsh, was not hit by the gunfire, but both officers were taken to the hospital and later released.

This all began on Garfield Street on Sunday afternoon, when the two officers responded to a potential domestic situation. Brandenburg said that Officer Steve confronted Noel and saw that he had a gun.

The chief said that Steve told Noel to take his hands from his pockets. Brandenburg said that Noel then pointed the handgun at Steve, who fired at Noel, striking him once.

Police said that Noel then fired multiple shots at Officer Steve.

Both Steve and Walsh are now on paid administrative leave while the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office conducts an investigation.

The exact charges against Noel have not been determined yet. That will be determined after discussions with the Sheriff’s department and the Monroe County District Attorney’s office.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.