BAD: RPD Officer Fights for Life After Shooting
WTH the office was just walking back to his cruiser too. Geez this city is getting out of hand at this point.
RPD Officer Fights for Life After Shooting
by R News staff
photo by Casey Bortnick
Published Jan 31, 2009
A Rochester police officer is now out of surgery after he was shot in the line of duty Saturday afternoon.
The shooting happened just before 4:00 p.m. Saturday in the area of 21 Dayton Street, off of Hudson Ave.
Police say the officer and two other officers responded to a complaint about drug activity. They questioned a group of people on the street.
Police say the officers found no reason to arrest them. When they turned and walked away, one of the officers was shot in the back of the head.
The unidentified officer is a rookie, 22 years old, and on the force for less than a year. We're told he just graduated from the police academy last summer.
Officers Credited With Quick Response
Doctors say fellow officers drove the victim to Rochester General Hospital gave him a fighting chance. They drove him here in a police cruiser and that saved minutes.
“He sustained a severe gunshot to the brain as would be self-evident. All gunshot wounds to the brain involve serious potential for both fatality and long-term injury. This does fall into the spectrum of severe gunshot wound. That being said, we have a lot of milestones to go. His surgery took about two and a half hours. It was extremely smooth,” said Dr. Paul Maurer, RGH surgeon.
“We will not tolerate this type of activity in our community. We suffer with violent crime, yes we do. But we have to support; protect our officers to insure that they do the job that we hold them in high regard to accomplish. We’re asking everyone in the community, anyone who may have information to please call 911,” said Rochester Police Chief David Moore.
“This is a despicable, cowardly act – is the only way to say it. These officers handled a call. They were walking back to their car. There was no confrontation. No fight. They were walking back to their car when the officer was shot. We are going to pull every resource we have as the chief knows. There is nothing we will not spend to find the person responsible,” said Mayor Bob Duffy.
Officers, along with close friends and family, are gathered at Rochester General Hospital to hold vigil and to pray for their brother fighting for his life.
Governor David Paterson, Duffy Visit Officer at Hospital
Governor David Paterson, who was in town for the economic roundtable with new U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), went to Rochester General Hospital along with Mayor Bob Duffy to be with the wounded officer's family during and after the officer's surgery for a gunshot wound to the back of the head.
“Whoever fired that gun this afternoon deserves to be the one in the ICU Unit right now. Not this brave officer who, I understand, was on his first tour of duty and was starting a great career in law enforcement,” said Paterson.
In a statement Paterson also said, “I have met with the officer’s family, and can testify to this officer’s courage and strength. I have also instructed the State Police to dedicate all available resources to assist the Rochester Police Department and find the person responsible for this heinous crime.”
The Search Kept Several Families Out of Their Homes
A large number of police searched the immediate Dayton Street neighborhood. SWAT teams moved out and crime scene investigators moved in trying to piece together exactly how this happened. Police closed off a three block area on Rochester’s Northeast side for several hours. Police conducted a house-to-house search for suspects.
“I have a baby and two kids that haven’t eaten. I want to go home and give them some food. And they say just stay in the car and wait,” said Julio Lopez.
In the cold weather, some local stores opened their doors for those trying to keep warm.
“There was a family here earlier that came into eat because they weren’t able to go home. They stayed here for a while, then they left. I think it’s understandable though considering what happened,” said Genesis Rosa of the East Coast Café on Hudson Avenue.
Rochester police are urging anyone who may have seen or heard anything to call 911.
County Executive Maggie Brooks Reacts to Cop Shooting
Brooks offered her condolences and said in a statement, “Monroe County has offered the full support of our Public Safety Team to the Rochester Police Department as the search for the at-large assailant continues...Rest assured, Monroe County will work closely with our local law enforcement agencies to exhaust all possible resources until this violent criminal is captured, arrested, and brought to justice.”
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