ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A Rochester police officer was killed and another injured in what investigators called an ambush shooting Thursday night.
Rochester Police Chief David Smith said Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, a 29-year veteran of the RPD, was killed in the line of duty in that shooting along Bauman Street.
According to investigators, Officer Mazurkiewicz and his partner, Officer Sino Seng were parked in an unmarked police surveillance vehicle on Bauman Street near Laser Street as part of a murder investigation. Other marked and unmarked police vehicles were also in the area.
Investigators said a man approached the surveillance vehicle from behind, hid behind a shrub, and fired 17 rounds at the officers from 10 to 15 feet away.
Officer Mazurkiewicz was in the driver seat. He was shot twice in the upper body. Officer Seng was shot once in the lower body. A 15-year-old girl in a nearby house was struck by a bullet that went through a wall.
Police say Seng got out of the vehicle and returned fire, but the suspect was not hit.
That suspect was identified Friday as Kelvin Vickers, 21, from Massachusetts. He was arrested and charged with second degree murder, second degree attempted murder, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. His arraignment is scheduled for Saturday morning.
According to RPD Captain Frank Umbrino, who would not speak the suspect’s name, Vickers was found hiding in the second floor crawl space of a vacant home near the scene of the shooting less than an hour after it happened.
Umbrino said a loaded 9mm handgun was found on the property. Investigators determined that gun was used to shoot Officers Mazurkiewicz and Seng, as well as the teenage victim.
“Every day, the men and women of this department leave their home, not knowing if they will return home at the end of their shift,” Chief Smith said during a Friday morning press conference with tears in his eyes.
Police carried out six search warrants throughout the City of Rochester in the hours after the shooting. Umbrino said nine weapons —including handguns and assault-style rifles— were seized. Police also discovered hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and nearly 100 pounds of marijuana.
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello issued the following statement Friday, saying in part:
“All of Monroe County mourns today as we learn Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, one of the brave Rochester police officers shot on Bauman Street last night, succumbed to his injuries. There are no words to adequately express the heartbreak and loss suffered by his family and our community through this senseless murder.
This was a despicable act of violence, emblematic of the ongoing wave of gang violence and shootings plaguing our city. This officer died a hero, making the ultimate sacrifice to protect our community and make our streets safer. May we never forget his service and sacrifice. Our hearts go out to Officer Mazurkiewicz’s family, friends and fellow officers and we pray for the rapid recovery of Officer Sino Seng.
I have ordered flags at all Monroe County facilities to fly at half-staff in honor of Officer Mazurkiewicz.”
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.”
Friday evening report
Full Friday evening press conference (suspect arrested)
Full overnight press conference (officer killed)
Overnight Scene on Bauman Street
Statement from Rochester Mayor Malik Evans
Tonight, there were two Rochester Police officers shot; one is critically wounded. We are sending our strongest prayers that he survives his injuries.
The tragic gun violence in Rochester must come to an end. Today, we declared a gun violence emergency in our community and this shooting is proof that we are indeed, in an emergency.
Our police officers are out there sacrificing their lives for us every day. 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.