Man charged in fatal shooting of Rochester police officer
A man was arrested and charged with murder when he ambushed a veteran police officer on Thursday night, police said.
Kelvin Vickers, 21, was arrested about an hour after the death of Anthony Mazurkiewicz, a 29-year-old member of the force, while he was in a parked cruiser with his partner Sino Seng at around 9:15 p.m
The suspect was found hiding with a loaded 9mm handgun in a crawl space of a vacant house near the scene, Rochester Police Chief Frank Umbrino said at a news conference on Friday.
Preliminary testing has determined the gun was the gun used in the fatal shot.
According to the authorities, 17 shots were fired from behind into the police vehicle.
Seng, an eight-year veteran of the department, injured his leg and was later discharged from the hospital. He jumped out of the vehicle and returned fire, but the suspect was not hit, police officers said.
A 15-year-old girl at a nearby house was also hit and injured.
Vickers was charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder, assault and gun count. He hails from the Boston area and has an “extensive criminal background,” Umbrino said.
When he was 12, Vickers was charged with assault and assault on an officer, police told WHAM.
As an adult, he was convicted of possessing an unlicensed firearm, police officers said.
The shooting came just hours after the upstate town was placed under a state of emergency after another year of rampant gun violence.
“Tony Mazurkiewicz could have easily retired, but he chose to continue taking to the streets because he didn’t want the people in our neighborhood being held hostage by the very cowards who are wreaking havoc in our community ‘ Mayor Malik Evans said in a written statement Friday.
“Not only am I sad for the Mazurkiewicz family – and we pray for Sino Seng’s speedy recovery – I am furious. And upset. Because all too often we see a blatant disregard for life,” he said.
Before Mazurkiewicz was murdered, the city of about 200,000 had seen 41 homicides that year — one fewer than this time last year. Over 200 people have been shot so far this year.
The mayor said the recent shootings were “directly linked to a deadly cycle of disputes and retaliation.”
A similar state of emergency was declared by the city’s former mayor, Lovely Warren, in November 2021. The statement provides the city with additional resources from other law enforcement agencies to help combat the violence.
At the press conference, Umbrino recalled being asked after Thursday’s statement: “How dangerous is it out there for Rochester Police Officers?”
“My response was that the men and women of this department leave their homes every day not knowing if they will return to see their families at the end of their shift,” he said, getting emotional.
“Ten hours later, Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz — a father, husband, and 29-year veteran with the Rochester Police Department — was killed on the job.”
“That was Tony Mazurkiewicz today. But it could be any of us in this room tomorrow,” he said.
Vickers will be arraigned in Rochester City Court on Saturday morning, WHAM reported.
With postal wires