ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — In response to the fatal shooting of 29-year RPD veteran Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, the Rochester Police Locust Club held a short press conference at their headquarters on Lexington Avenue Friday at 4:00 p.m.
On Friday morning, RPD Chief David Smith said that Officer Mazurkiewicz and his partner Officer Sino Seng were patrolling the area of Bauman Street around 9:15 p.m. when at least one male approached them and opened fire in an ambush attack.
“They were simply ambushed. There’s no way to express the pain that’s in our hearts,” Rochester Police Union President Mike Mazzeo said, adding that the Locust Club will be transitioning to support the family of Officer Mazurkiewicz in the coming weeks.
Mazurkiewicz died from his injuries, while Seng was shot in the lower body and is expected to survive.
Mazzeo said that Officer Mazurkiewicz had been a member of the Locust Club; highlighting his participation in the group. Officer Mazurkiewicz had been a member of the executive board, served on the house committee, and was part of the current labor contract team.
“He was the first one in the door and the last one to leave,” Mazzeo said.
Former Rochester Police Chief Robert Duffy told News 8 that he worked with Officer Mazurkiewicz, saying that he had a passion for serving the public.
Duffy said that he knew Mazurkiewicz in a professional capacity and remembers him for his great sense of humor. He said Mazurkiewicz was careful to train his partners in the field, and never shied away from serious cases.
At the end of the conference, Mazzeo mentioned public attitudes towards law enforcement.
“Tony’s dedication of service, like all of our brothers and sisters, was not directed only at those who supported us, but also those who do not […] We are part of this community, and there is no greater time than now for the community to be one. We call on everyone to make that a priority,” Mazzeo said.
Recently, Officer Mazurkiewicz worked mostly undercover to track down suspects in homicide cases.
“This man is almost a 30-year veteran, 54 years old, and he’s working nights on the street hunting down homicide suspects — those who could be the worst of the worst, who are taking lives,” Duffy said. “He had choices. He could have worked at a desk. He could have retired years ago and done something else. It gives you a snapshot of where his heart’s at. He was always a great public servant and a great police officer. I can’t think of one bad thing about this man in my career, from discipline to anything else.”
Duffy retired from the RPD in 2005 and went on to become Mayor of Rochester. He said he remembered seeing Mazurkiewicz rise through the ranks.
The Rochester Police Locust Club was founded in 1904, and represents over 700 members of law enforcement employed by the City of Rochester.
According to the union, they exist to protect the rights and working conditions of police officers, and are dedicated “to continually improving law enforcement efforts to protect and serve the citizens of Rochester.”
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.