Rochester police make arrest in Orchard Street murder case

Crime

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Police made an arrest Tuesday in Rochester’s 80th homicide of the year.

According to investigators, Waltequaries Evans, 25, was shot during an argument near the School No. 17 playground on Orchard Street around 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Evans was taken to URMC in a private vehicle. He did not survive.

Police say Derrick Gunter, 21, was identified as the shooting suspect and arrested Tuesday evening. Gunter was charged with Murder and Criminal Possession of a Weapon. Gunter is a Florida resident.

The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office says the death of Evans is yet another tragedy– for another family in our city during Rochester’s deadliest year. Derrick Gunter was arraigned on charges of murder in Evans’ shooting death,— and possession of a weapon used in the assault killing. 

Christopher Bokelman with the DA’s office says at this time— there does not seem to be any solid relationship between Evans and Gunter. Police believe Evans was having an argument with a person near School 17 before this shooting took place. —- Bokelman says they do not know how Gunter came into possession of the gun, and they do not believe it was legally possessed. He says this was some kind of dispute that went very wrong, very quickly. Bokelman says one piece of good news in this is that Gunter is a suspect who was quickly taken into custody and is not roaming free. Evans’ family was there for the arraignment and said this time, as all can imagine, is painful. 

“It’s always difficult for a family to be thrown into a situation, particularly just after violently having lost a loved one, so it’s heart-breaking.,” adding, “From what the police have managed to determine at this point, there was a– I won’t even call it an argument. Some people who are both on one side of the defendant, and one side of the victim, we’re trying to resolve a dispute, and family members and friends showed up to make sure that doesn’t go wrong…and it did go wrong. It went tragically wrong very quickly.”

The Rochester Fire Department also added today that Evans was a survivor of an arson fire on Grape Street in the city in 2012. They called his actions that day ‘heroic’, jumping out of a second-story window. 4 children died in that fire and the mother was charged with arson. Evans suffered serious burns as a result. From surviving one tragedy, to being shot to death in another, Bokelman says this is extremely tough for the family… they were there for the arraignment this morning. With this being Rochester’s deadliest year on record…quite a few leaders have said this cannot be the norm, and something needs to change.

“One is too many. There’s a point where frustration, anger, sadness, have to be used as motivation to keep trying to do what’s right for the victims and the victim’s families. You have to turn pain into motivation,” he says.

Bokelman says Gunter’s case is now moving to a grand jury.

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