ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Police have identified the city’s most recent murder victim as a retired Rochester Police Officer, officials announced Monday morning.

Authorities say officers were led to an area on Jefferson Avenue overnight Sunday at 2 a.m. for the report of a crash and a person shot. Upon arrival, they located a man in his 50s who had been shot in his upper body. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but succumbed to his injuries shortly after.

The victim was identified as 50-year-old William Booker, who served the Rochester Police Department from 1996 until his retirement in 2017.

Officials remember Booker as a loyal servant of the police force, who most notably spent nearly 10 years as a School Resource Officer; steering local youth away from violence.

Family members and those close to the retired officer issued the following statement:

It is with heavy hearts that we, the family of William Keith Booker, confirm that he was murdered on the morning of September 25, 2022. A beloved father, son, brother, cousin, and friend, Booker served Rochester proudly for 20-plus years as a police officer and beyond that, as a man of faith. 

We ask that you please respect the family’s privacy at this time. This will be the only statement that the family releases. Any other communication does not represent our family.  We also ask that you do not share the video posted by his grieving mother who was inconsolable and unaware of all of the facts. Frankly, she is mentally unstable. 

Thank you to the Rochester Police Department and the City of Rochester for leading the investigation. We have complete confidence that justice will be served. 

We would also like to reiterate that Booker was a man of faith. So even as we seek justice, we pray that this horrible tragedy and the other senseless homicides that have occurred in Rochester will usher in a much-needed change. 

Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. Luke 17:33 NKJV

Rochester police is unsure of the timeline connected to the shooting. It remains unclear whether Booker was shot prior to, or after the car crash.

Investigators are continuing to work in order to determine the motive behind this fatal shooting.


Statement from Rochester Mayor Malik Evans

My heart is broken for the family and friends of retired Rochester Police Officer William Booker and I ask all of Rochester to join me in prayer or a moment of thought as they mourn this loss. That a man who dedicated his professional career to bringing peace and justice to the streets and schools of Rochester has himself fallen victim of that violence in his retirement is a tragedy and yet another reminder that our entire community must join in the effort to end this violence.

I urge anyone who has any information on this shooting to contact the Rochester Police Department to provide information that can assist the investigation and bring the killer or killers to justice. The Major Crimes Unit is conducting the investigation and is asking anybody with information to call 911, the Major Crimes Unit at 428-7157, Crime Stoppers at 423-9300, or email MajorCrimes@cityofrochester.gov.

Statement from Monroe County Executive Adam Bello

I am shocked and saddened by the death of retired Rochester Police Officer William Booker. During his 21-year career, he was an integral part of the RPD family and served for more than a decade as a steady presence at the City School District’s Franklin campus. I send my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. His tragic death is not just a loss for them, but a loss for us all. 

Record homicides and gun violence are terrorizing innocent citizens of this community. This is a crisis and it will take our entire community working together to bring this outbreak to an end. 


Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.