Rochester, September 19
Two people died and 14 others were wounded at a backyard party in Rochester, New York, early on Saturday, police said.
The deaths included a male and a female, both between the ages of 18 and 22, Interim Police Chief Mark Simmons told reporters. The 14 wounded people were taken to a two different hospitals. Simmons said none of them were believed to have life-threatening injuries.
“This is truly a tragedy of epic proportions,” Simmons said near the crime scene, which appeared to stretch at least a block.
The shooting comes as the city’s police department has been rocked by the suffocation death of Daniel Prude.
Video taken in March and made public by Prude’s family Sept. 4 shows Prude handcuffed and naked with a spit hood over his head as an officer pushes his face against the street while another officer presses a knee to his back. The officers held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing. He was taken off life support a week later.
On Monday, Mayor Lovely Warren fired Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, who she said initially misled her about the circumstances of Prude’s death.
The fatal shooting early Saturday did not appear to be linked to the March death.
Officers responded to calls of shots fired and found “approximately 100 people” running from the scene, Simmons said. Before the call, police were not aware of the party, he said.
“This is yet another tragedy where individuals are having these illegal, unsanctioned house parties taking place in these properties, which — number one — is not safe because of COVID, because of the conditions. And then you add in alcohol and violence and it just becomes a recipe for disaster,” Simmons said.
The interim chief said no suspects were in custody, adding that it’s too early to tell whether there were multiple shooters. (AP)