ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The city has already surpassed a record number for homicides in one year. This weekend, more violence taking the lives of three people.
One of the victims over the weekend was 38 yr-old Stephen Morgan of Rochester. Police say he was shot and killed in his car Friday night, on West Ave.
Officers say he was caught in the crossfire, and was not the intended target.
One of his best friends called News 8 to share more about his life, the kind of person he was, and how they’re helping his family.
For about two years, Morgan got to work with his best friend Darnell Williams everyday. At Churchboyz Wangz N Thangz chicken joint on Norton Street, he used to be a line cook.
“I really love him, he played a major part in my life,” said Williams, owner of the joint.
Today he’s heartbroken and confused, how Morgan could ever become victim to gun violence. The two have known each other for most of their life.
“It really hurt my heart,” he said. “He was definitely a very humble dude, very humble would do anything for anybody.”
But the good news is police are making arrests. Three have been made this weekend, in just 24 hours.
On Saturday evening, officers were able to locate and arrest Steven Owens – a key suspect for the death of his 34 yr-old son Malcom. The arrest was made just a few hours after going public with Owens’ name and picture – saying he was armed and dangerous.
Then Monday morning, two more arrests for a separate homicide. Officers arrested Donald and Ronald Brown – key suspects for the death of 24 year old Armani Allen outside RTS last week.
“Our message wants to be if you’re committing a violent act we’re coming for you,” said Korey Brown, deputy with Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy Korey Brown says they’re working with RPD, U.S. Marshalls and state police to find a list of alleged violent offenders. Following a state of emergency plan on Friday, the task force has been amped up with more staff.
“We’re still working on our old list so we had a list of 40 we’re drilling down to 0, and then we’re going to be working on that 37 [new list] coming up this week,” he said.
The lists are handed over from RPD.
“If Korey Brown went out and committed a shooting say, and we were working with witnesses, technicians, all of that, we’ll put a package together that says, ‘yes we’re going to take Korey Brown into custody so now we have to find him,” he said.
U.S. Marshalls and members of MCSO also assist in investigative work, and patrol. For example, police are upping their presence in neighborhoods of concern like Dewey Avenue. You will see more of them in the coming days, interacting with community members and working to keep things safe.
None of the arrests this weekend were on their list of alleged offenders, but police say tips from the public allowed them to act fast. Any information or tips can always be reported to 311 or Rochester Crime Stoppers, (585) 423-9300
In the meantime, people like Williams are focused on moving forward with an incredible weight of grief.
“He loved this place, he’s like the most loyal person,” said Williams.
Williams says they’ve started a fund in Morgan’s honor. They’re taking any donations at the joint to help out Morgan’s family.
Churchboyz Wangz N Thangz is located on 999 Norton Street. You can also call 585-362-3381 for donations.