Rochester Police officials say their officers shot a suspect Friday night who had first fired at them. The suspect was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Interim Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan says that a SWAT team had been tracking the suspect, described as a man in his 20s, for a lengthy period of time. She says he was wanted for charges that include assault and attempted murder and had a history of being involved in a number of prior shootings.
The chief says police tracked the man, but did not try to apprehend him until he was not near any other people who could have been put in danger. She says when police tried to arrest the man near Hudson Avenue and Durnan Street, he ran, and then according to Herriott-Sullivan, the suspect pulled out a gun and fired at the officers.
The shooting happened near Avenue D in a driveway.
The chief says two officers returned fire and the man was struck by bullets approximately 4 or 5 times. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Herriott-Sullivan says that because this was a SWAT team, they don’t have body-worn cameras. It was not immediately known if there were any city ‘blue-light’ cameras in the area or other cameras that may have captured the incident.
Herriott-Sullivan says one officer fell during the incident and suffered a minor elbow injury. She also says he apparently has a bullet hole in his uniform but was not hit by the bullet.
The chief says RPD has notified the New York State Attorney General. It is state policy for the AG to take jurisdiction over officer-involved shootings, but city police will still be involved in the investigation.
The name of the suspect has not been released yet, pending family notifications.
The officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, which is standard procedure in incidents like this.
On Saturday, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren issued this statement:
“I have spoken with Chief Herriott-Sullivan who briefed me regarding the events of last night. She also assured me that the police department will cooperate fully with the Attorney General’s investigation. As the Chief has shared with the public, the deceased was a suspect in a number of violent incidents in our City and every effort was made to make the arrest in a manner that minimized danger to others."
"Any loss of life is tragic and my prayers are with the family and loved ones of the deceased. I am grateful to God that no one else, including our officers, was seriously injured."
I have also discussed with Chief Herriott-Sullivan providing our officers with additional technology, and addressing RPD procedures, to ensure our specialized units have the ability to operate safely and still provide video to our community. She has assured me that she is working to do so.”