ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Mayor Malik Evans joined interim Rochester Police Chief David Smith and Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter Monday morning for a press conference to discuss an arrest in a recent murder case.
Salahuddin Floyd Jr., also known as “OG Poohbear” by his alias, was apprehended by U.S. Marshals Task Force in the area of Dewey Avenue Thursday and taken into custody without incident. The 18-year-old Edison High School student was wanted in connection to the fatal shooting of 17-year-old classmate Bryson Simpson in March.
“Too many lives are being lost,” Mayor Evans said. “We can have all the acknowledgment in the world, but without the community we have nothing.”
On Tuesday, a Grand Jury indictment was unsealed, revealing Floyd Jr. is facing one count of murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. He has entered a plea of “not guilty.” Floyd Jr. is being held with no bail or release and is set to reappear in court on June 3rd.
Simpson was killed near 184 Otis Street on March 11th after getting off the school bus. Authorities say he and three other teens were walking on the sidewalk before an unidentified suspect came behind them and fired multiple gunshots at the group. According to police, the teenager was found deceased at the scene.
“When I learned about the murder, which happened in the middle of the afternoon, getting off the bus … It hurt me to the core,” Mayor Evans said. “We know that we had to bring the individual responsible for this to justice.”
Floyd had been on the run since the start of the year, before being identified by police agencies in early April. He was thought to be helped by several of his close friends, who assisted him in “couch surfing.”
“They made a choice they cannot take back and robbed the community of a life,” Mayor Evans said. “We are happy and praying that justice will be served. We have an obligation and responsibility to see something, and say something.”
Chief Smith said the collaborative patrol effort that Rochester police announced earlier his month is working.
Due to an “unprecedented” staffing shortage and a recent rise in violent crime, the Rochester Police Department is partnering with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police to provide additional patrols within the city.
“We are one week into this anti-violence initiative and we are already seeing a difference,” Chief Smith said.
According to the RPD, nearly 100% of Rochester’s shooting incidents are happening on 11% of the city’s street segments. Police officials say increased “violence suppression tactics” focused on these areas will reduce the rampant gun violence the city is witnessing.
“People are seeing the cars, they are seeing the patrols,” Chief Smith said.
Although a small sample size since the collaborative patrol effort took effect, the police chief said the early returns demonstrate favorable results so far, but the mayor and chief agree that violence in the city is not an issue that police can solve alone.
“The message we’re trying to convey is, we can have a ‘gagillion’ officers in the street patrolling, but if we don’t have the community’s help, we are going to get nowhere.”
“A lot of information comes from the community,” Sheriff Baxter said. “The U.S. Marshals task force is prolific and they are going after known shooters, jumped over fences, for people with multiple warrants. They are doing it on behalf of this community because this community has suffered enough.”
Rochester set a record last year with 81 homicides and has already had 25 murders in 2022, according to current RPD data.
“If you’re going to murder someone in the City of Rochester, you will be arrested,” Chief Smith said. “You will be prosecuted, but by the time it gets to us, it’s too late; one life lost, another life ruined.”
Full press conference
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.