It’s the big question looming over one of the deadliest mass shootings this year: Who opened fire at a crowded house party in Rochester, New York, at the weekend, killing two teenagers and wounding 14 others?
I heard gunshots right after midnight. There were no arrests, no rewards provided, and little information from the authorities about the location of the investigation. If the police had suspects in mind, they would not say so publicly. Nor did they tell people who had lost loved ones or were injured.
I’m sure they’ll discover something, but I don’t really know what information they have or anything else – what clues they found at the scene, ”said Emaar Bui, a 23-year-old college graduate who still struggles with the movement In the arm where he was shot.
Rochester, a post-industrial city of about 206,000 people on the shores of Lake Ontario, continues to struggle with police officers killing a black man, Daniel Broad, in March by pressing him into the ground until he stopped breathing. City officials sparked outrage by remaining silent about the death for several months.
Brod’s death exacerbated residents’ mistrust of the police department. The shooting – which ended the lives of Jacquela Young and Jarvis Alexander, both 19 – only added to the town’s collective pain.
“In terms of recovering in town, we haven’t gotten there yet,” said Marlow Washington, pastor of Seneca United Methodist Church. “We are not close to any form of healing and I do not know how we will get there yet.”
Police spokeswoman Jacqueline Schumann said the investigation into the shooting was progressing and that investigators “are still in the process of sorting through the massive evidence.”
Schumann said the police department is working on the case with the county crime lab and prosecutors, as well as federal agencies including the US Attorney’s Office and the Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which usually help local police track weapons.
The party was supposed to be a small gathering, but people from two other nearby parties went there early in the morning and a quarrel broke out. Three or four people opened fire, and police found more than 40 bullet casings at the scene. The ages of the dead and wounded ranged from 17 to 23 years.
Young, who taught at Monroe Community College, was the captain of her high school cheerleading team and a member of the track team. Alexander, a sophomore at Alfred University, was in the football and track teams of his high school and won the state championship in the 4×100-meter relay.
“What happened to my son is devastating. Alexander’s father, James Alexander, said,“ It doesn’t look real at this point. ”“ It touched a lot of people’s hearts and that’s really what I’m trying to understand right now. Because his legacy is amazing. “
Since the shooting, the city has been rocked even more by Mayor Lovely Warren’s indictment on charges of fraud financing government campaigns related to her recent re-election campaign. City council recently issued subpoenas in the investigation into Brod’s death. The demonstrators continued to demonstrate in the city streets.
On Wednesday, there was another big development: Cynthia Heriot Sullivan, who retired from the Police Department in 2009 with the rank of Lieutenant, assumed the position of interim city police chief. In addition to the hard work of repairing a force with its shattered reputation, she will be tasked with solving a shooting incident that has been described in the local media as one of the most violent crimes in the city’s history.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, she told residents, “We go up and down together.”
And Washington, in a telephone interview, called on the Police Department to be more transparent about the investigation and suggested that the city offer a reward to give reluctant witnesses an additional incentive to come forward.
“We need the city to increase this to say that we will not leave this matter, it will not be a cold or pre-cold situation. We are in the process of raising the level before it,” Washington said.
James Alexander said he was so focused on mourning his son and supporting his family that he didn’t have time to delve into the investigation.
Alexander said, “There is a lot of disasters and turmoil happening in Rochester and something needs to be done about it, but as far as what is happening in the police station and those things, I place my trust in the law.” . “I have no objections to the way they do their job.”
Bowie said he also has faith – and patience.
He said, “They will discover something, if it takes a year from now.”