Violence uptick in Rochester with child caught in crossfire

Monroe County

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Police Locust Club released video of a shooting inside a Warner Street convenience store Wednesday. In the video, a man is seen firing a weapon with a child just a few feet away. The child is quickly picked up and rushed away from the scene.

Police say the shooting sent a 41-year-old man to the hospital with a non-life-threatening injury.

“We have a crisis in this community,” said Rochester Police Accountability Board Executive Director Conor Dwyer Reynolds, “and we have got to move past the platitudes, we’ve got to move past the rhetoric, and talk about what actually works. That’s what the PAB’s job is, figuring out what actually works.”

“Once we start seeing more of these videos,” said Jose Peo, Rochester City Councilmember, “we’re going to know what our citizens are dealing with on a daily basis. And they’re going to see that our police are absolutely needed.”

The recent increase in violence in the city sparked a call to action from the Superintendent of the Rochester City School District. In an address to the school community, Dr. Lesli Myers-Small called on local organizations supporting youth to redouble their efforts.

“Just a few weeks ago, I attended the funeral of one of our high school students,” Myers-Small said.

The district reported six student deaths from September 2020 through April 2021 due to gun violence, and another 13 student injuries due to gun violence since the start of 2021. Many students were innocent bystanders.

“It is just never easy to have to say to a mom, to have to say to a dad, to a sibling, I am so sorry for your loss,” Myers-Small added.

Megan Clifford with Wellness Associates of Greater Rochester said pervasive violence can have a lasting effect. “The way that it affects a child is all day long, every day,” she said. “Whether it be problems with nightmares, or not being able to sleep, or not separating from a parent because they’re afraid, or constantly being hypervigilant to think, ‘what if I’m the next person to get shot inadvertently.'”

So far this year, there have been about 80 shooting incidents in the city reported by Rochester police, more than a dozen of them fatal.

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