Editor’s Note: Both press conferences are available at the bottom of this page.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — One person was hospitalized Monday night after he was shot during a fight with a police officer, according to the Rochester Police Department.
According to police, officers were called to the 100 block of Seventh Street around 9:45 p.m. for a ShotSpotter activation. Evidence was found that there were shots fired in the area. They saw a pickup truck with its lights off leaving the scene.
When officers tried to stop the truck, they said it fled. Police gave chase until the truck crashed into a pole on Hemple Street near First Street.
Investigators said a 26-year-old man ran from the vehicle. Police chased him the length of several houses when he ran into a backyard.
RPD said the officer found the man and tried to take him into custody, but the man fought the officer. The officer unsuccessfully attempted to use his taser. Police confirmed the officer fired a shot from his gun.
The suspect was hit at least once in the upper body and is currently being treated at Strong Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The officer was taken to a nearby hospital for trauma to his upper body, but he was released.
At the scene of the altercation between the man and the officer, investigators uncovered evidence such as a loaded handgun, a significant amount of suspected narcotics, and multiple pieces of the officer’s equipment and uniform. Police also uncovered a firearm from the vehicle that crashed on Hempel Street.
According to police, the suspect had a prior conviction in 2019 for illegally possessing a handgun and has an active warrant for allegedly fleeing from officers in a vehicle.
President of the Rochester Police Locust Club, Mike Mazzeo, tells News8 he was at the emergency room with the officer following the incident.
“Very concerned. It’s an officer’s worst nightmare,” Mazzeo says, adding what’s needed for the department to better address ongoing crime comes down to resources.
“There’s a recognition and an understanding that it’s more likely than not that people were engaging with are gonna have not just one weapon but maybe multiple weapons on them as well which shows the severity of what we’re facing right now in the city,” he says.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call 911.
RPD Press Briefing — Monday evening
RPD Press Briefing — Tuesday morning
Rochester City Councilmembers Stanley Martin, Kim Smith and Vice President Mary Lupien released a statement Wednesday evening, saying:
We share our deepest sympathies with the young man who was shot by the Rochester Police Department this week, and offer our condolences to his family. Following this traumatic incident, we can only hope for healing and recovery.
The news of yet another young man shot while fleeing an RPD officer has unfortunately become all too familiar in our city. This is not normal — it is unacceptable, and we reject all efforts by the RPD to make our community believe otherwise.
Media explanations alluding to former convictions and the possession of drugs do not address the potential loss of human life and are not satisfactory justification for shooting a fellow human being. Police are equipped with non-lethal weapons intended to preserve life, yet these shootings continue to occur, causing irreparable harm to the victims, their families and the Rochester community at large.
We grieve with all of our community members impacted by this shooting, and call on the RPD and Mayor Evans’ administration to turn over all body-worn camera footage to the Police Accountability Board in hopes of a transparent, community-led investigation.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.