ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A teenager has been arrested after a shooting on October 12 that injured a boy and a woman on Avenue D, according to the Rochester Police Department.
Officers have arrested and charged a 15-year-old boy with two counts of second-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, and third-degree unlawful fleeing in a motor vehicle.
On October 12, RPD responded to Avenue D and North Street for gunshots heard in the area. A 14-year-old boy and a 36-year-old woman were shot in their lower bodies. They were taken to Strong Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Investigators learned that a suspect used a stolen Kia Sportage. They found the vehicle the next day and tried to stop it on North Goodman Street. The vehicle took off and a chase began, but officers lost it in the area of Webster Avenue. The Kia was found abandoned on Peck Street.
Officers identified the 15-year-old boy as a suspect in the shooting and driving the stolen Kia. He was arrested on Wednesday on Ridgeway Avenue and taken to the Monroe County Children’s Center.
“This is another great example of working between our officers, investigators, and working with the DA office on this investigation as well, and then ultimately the U.S. Marshal Service for helping to take the suspect into custody,” said Rochester Police Department Captain Greg Bello.
In a press conference last week with the Stolen Vehicle Task Force, a group started by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Investigator James Coco agreed that youth account for a lot of these crimes.
“This is definitely a juvenile issue,” said Coco. “A lot of stolen vehicles are used in shootings, they’re used in other larcenies, they’re using stolen vehicles to steal additional stolen vehicles.”
Bello says that most times after speaking with family of these kids you find that there are other issues like money or mental health problems. Part of the solution is the Juvenile Enhanced Diversion Stabilization, program — also called JEDS.
Announced in June, Bello says the program is a success.
“A safety plan is being put in place for that child before they’re sent back into the home to ensure that they’re sent back to a safe place and a place that’s productive for that child,” Bello said. “The last numbers I had was over 130 kids have been entered into the JEDS program and I believe only five or six have reoffended which is incredible numbers for this area.”
Bello says that the best way to rehabilitate youth that commit crime is through intervention early on.