by: WROC Staff
Posted: / Updated:
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Police Department has confirmed two people have died in a mass shooting where 16 people were shot total in the early hours of Saturday morning near Pennsylvania Avenue in the City of Rochester.
The identity of the two killed has not been released, but Interim Police Chief Mark Simmons said one was a man, one a woman, both between the ages of 18 to 22.
The other 14 people were all hospitalized at either Strong Memorial Hospital or Rochester General Hospital for their injuries. At this time, there have been no arrests. “Additional individuals were hospitalized for injuries sustained while attempting to flee the area. The extent of the injuries from the hospitalized gunshot victims are still being tallied, but all are currently believed to be in stable condition,” a statement from RPD reads.
“The event that was taking place in the 200 block appears to be some type of backyard party that the police department — up until the point where the 911 calls came in of shots fired — was not aware of, ” Simmons said. Officers responded to the area around 12:25 a.m. for the report of shots fired and people shot.
Simmons said officers observed about 100 people at the location of the party. “So you would think that someone sees something prior to this concern. So we ask the community, when you see this please pick up the phone and call 911.”
“It’s an extremely difficult scene to process. We have evidence scattered at multiple locations, victims arriving at different hospitals and just trying to identify and interview citizens, but the police department has all hands on deck.”
It isn’t clear what type or the number of weapons was used. “Additionally, we will not comment yet as to the number and type of weapon(s) used, or the motive, but we will say several dozen rounds were fired,” officials said in a statement.
Pastor at Seneca United Methodist Church Dr. Marlowe Washington said when he heard what happened, he had to come and pray. He also said there needs to be accountability. “Whoever was the host of this party needs to be held accountable for this.”
In July, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren issued an emergency order, banning all large gatherings in en effort to end gun violence. The order — which prohibits all public gatherings of five or more people between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. — is still in effect.
Mayor Warren released the following statement on the shooting:
Our Pathways to Peace Team is on the ground and working with the victims and their families. I’m asking the community for prayers and support for all involved. This tragic act of violence has impacted many people’s lives and families. I’m begging everyone to remain calm and exercise deep restraint as RPD investigates what happened here and seeks those responsible. As soon as additional information is available the police department will provide updates on this matter. Please keep our city in your continual prayers.
Simmons said multiple agencies and officers are still on scene investigating, collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses. Anybody with information regarding the shooting, or has video or photographs from the party is asked to email them to [email protected] and call 911.
Goodman Street is closed from Short to Ripley Street. Officials said they will be on scene for “foreseeable future.”
All of this comes amid protests we’ve seen for more than two weeks here in Rochester in the name of Daniel Prude, who died after an encounter with Rochester police in March. This particularly incident happens not long after the retirement of former Police Chief La’Ron Singletary.
Simmons was asked about his thoughts as approaching this situation as interim chief, and he said he doesn’t have time to reflect on that right now.
“This is not a moment for self reflection this is a moment I’m asking the community to pray for the victims and the families. A lot of people are hurting right now a lot of people are looking for answers and the police department are going to do what we can to help bring some comfort and solve this crime.”
This is the worst mass shooting in the city’s history and it comes near the five year anniversary of another. On Aug. 15, 2015, a gunman open fired on Genesee Street outside the Boys and Girls Club, killing three young men. One month ago, the community gathered to remember Raekwan Manigault, Johnny Johnson and Jonah Barley.
This is a developing story. News 8 WROC will provide details as they become available.