ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Friday, July 22, 2022.
Two Rochester police officers and a bystander were shot on Bauman Street in the City of Rochester Thursday night. One of the officers did not survive.
It happened shortly after 9:15 p.m. According to police, the two officers were patrolling when at least one male approached them and opened fire. Two officers and a nearby woman were hit.
One officer was taken to Rochester General Hospital. The other was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital.
Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said one of the officers was critically wounded. Sources later confirmed that the officer passed away.
“Our police officers are out there sacrificing their lives for us every day,” Evans said. “They perform their jobs in dangerous conditions as we go about our daily lives and we owe them a great debt of gratitude. I pray for the comfort of the officers shot tonight, and for their families, friends, and all of their fellow first responders.”
The woman was hospitalized with what investigators said were non-life-threatening injuries.
Former Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary released a statement overnight, saying:
“As the former Police Chief, my heart is hurting and I am thinking of the men and women of the RPD after learning that two former colleagues were shot during a detail on Bauman Street, killing one and injuring another. These brave heroes were doing their job protecting the citizens of our city and were viciously attacked by a coward who has no regard for human life. Our city is under siege, and we must stand with those who have sworn an oath to serve and protect us. Join me in praying for all the men and women of the Rochester Police Department and especially for the two heroes who knowingly put themselves in harm’s way in service to our city and its citizens.”
A press conference hosted by Rochester Police Chief David Smith and Mayor Evans is scheduled for Friday at 8 a.m. Investigators say no other information will be released until the event.
SWAT teams, members of Rochester police and state police have been searching areas adjacent to the scene of the shooting into early Friday morning.
At around 5:40 a.m., authorities were seen handcuffing a suspect on Joseph Avenue. It is unclear if the action was related to Thursday’s shooting. News 8 crew members on scene of the area say patrols have been going door-to-door across the morning hours in search of suspects.
A Fairport man has been charged with attempted assault for his involvement in an attack on Congressman Lee Zeldin during a campaign event in Perinton Thursday night.
Zeldin is the Republican candidate for governor in New York State.
Witnesses say Zeldin was giving a speech about bail reform at the VFW on Macedon Center Road when a man — reportedly an Iraq War veteran under the influence of alcohol — stumbled through the crowd. He then proceeded to climb on the stage and pull out a knife.
Witnesses say when the man lunged at Zeldin, AMVETS National Director Joe Chenelly tackled and restrained him, along with other bystanders at the scene.
Those on the scene were able to zip-tie the suspect and get the weapon away before he was taken into custody by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect responsible for the attack was identified overnight Friday as 43-year-old David Jakubonis of Fairport. He was charged with attempted assault in the second degree.
Chenelly said he vows to get the man in custody the help he needs.
“When he said he served in Iraq, I got down hands on my knees and said, ‘You know, we’re going to get through whatever you’ve done here tonight,’ and told him, ‘You’re going to get better and focus on that,’ and said, ‘You can contact me after this thing is done,.” Chenelly said. “I was told not the engage with him right now. I think it’s very important we obviously have a mental health crisis nationwide— not just with our veterans but we especially have it with our veterans.”
According to deputies with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Jakubonis swung his weapon toward Zeldin’s neck and told him “you’re done.”
Jakubonis was arraigned in Perinton Town Court and released on his own recognizance.
Zeldin was not hurt and took the stage again when it was over.
Congressman Zeldin made a statement expressing his gratitude for the people who helped defend him during the incident. He said:
“Thank you to everyone who reached out following tonight’s attack in Fairport. Someone tried to stab me on stage during this evening’s rally, but fortunately, I was able to grab his wrist and stop him for a few moments until others tackled him. I’m ok, and Alison Esposito, and all other attendees are safe. The attacker is in custody. Grateful for the attendees who stepped up quickly to assist and the law enforcement officers who quickly responded. I’m as resolute as ever to do my part to make New York safe again. This suspect will likely be right back out on the street immediately.”
A body was found inside the car belonging to Keri Heine, Greece police reported Thursday.
The 46-year-old Greece woman has been missing since July 10. Police said the body found in her car Thursday will be sent to the medical examiner’s office to be identified.
The vehicle was found alongside State Route 104 in the Town of Ontario in Wayne County, Greece police say.
Prior to the discovery, a vigil at Rochester General Hospital had already been planned for Thursday evening at 8 p.m. for Heine. She was a nurse at the hospital.
At this time, Greece Police say there is no indication of foul play.
“As you can imagine, it’s been a difficult day for our Rochester Regional Health family,” Cristina Domingues, Public Relations Advisor for RRH said.
Rochester is officially in a Gun Violence State of Emergency, Mayor Malik Evans declared during a press conference Thursday morning.
In a press release ahead of Thursday’s discussion, the mayor issued a statement regarding the violent trends in the city, describing the violence “in two words: depravity and cowardice.”
This comes just one day after the city’s 40th and 41st homicide this year. Two people were shot and killed overnight Wednesday when more than 40 shots hailed on Rauber Street.
The mayor was joined at the conference by City Council President Miguel Meléndez Jr., Rochester Police Chief David Smith, Advisor to the Mayor on Violence Prevention Programs Victor Saunders, and Dr. Shirley Green, Commissioner of the City’s Department of Recreation and Human Services.
“Unless we don’t change something, we will break records,” Evans said. “202 individuals who have been shot. There are men and women out there who are working — 444 weapons off the streets. But, we have work to do. We will continue this collaboration, but we have to take it to the next level.”
Mayor Evans has issued a “Proclamation of a Local State of Emergency” effective immediately, which gives him broader powers to “protect life and property and to bring the emergency under control,” officials with the City of Rochester stated. To read the full proclamation, see the bottom of this article.
According to city charter documents, the order will be effective indefinitely. Evans will now have the power to regulate and close places of amusement and assembly, and prohibit and control the presence of persons on public streets and places.
“I am hoping — and I know that with this declaration — it will give us the ability to get more resources, but also be more targeted in specific areas and stop people from wreaking havoc in our city,” Evans said.
According to the mayor, the order will be revisited every five days starting Thursday, July 21. The mayor also mentioned that he can choose to shut down a particular street.
“When I came into the office people told me ‘oh you can’t just talk about the violence, you have to talk about the good stuff too,’” Evans said. “We have a lot of good stuff, but I promised Rochester that I would be transparent. We do not want to hold people hostage, but this affects everyone. We have a wart in our city.”
Smith, who in July became the first permanent chief to lead RPD in two years, laid out the latest numbers on violence, saying that shooting trends have started trending downward.
According to the chief, the city has seen a 7% decrease in shootings in a year-to-date comparison to 2021. Despite that decrease, Rochester is one homicide away from meeting last year’s year-to-date homicide rate.
Smith also said police will tailor their service to address locations that are affected by gun violence the most, focusing on the 50 most violent street segments in the city. Members of the department will also attempt to identify chronic offenders and focus on proactive intervention.
“Our evidence shows that the violence tends to cluster in small areas in Rochester,” Chief Smith said. “These small areas affect a disproportionate amount of the total violence in the city.”
Friday will be warm with highs in the upper 80s under partly cloudy skies. Small chance of a passing shower or storm, otherwise it’s a pretty quiet end to our week.