2 N.Y. officers shot, 1 dead; mayor declares state of emergency
Police Chief David Smith ID'd the slain officer as Anthony Mazurkiewicz, a 29-year veteran, during a press conference with tears in his eyes
Duty Death: Anthony Mazurkiewicz - [Rochester, New York]
End of Service: 07/21/2022
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A police officer was fatally shot and another wounded in Rochester, New York, officials said Friday.
The officers were on patrol as part of a plainclothes tactical unit when they were shot around 9:15 p.m. Thursday, authorities said.
Police Chief David Smith identified the slain officer as Anthony Mazurkiewicz, a 29-year member of the department.
“Last night, Officer Mazurkiewicz and his partner, Officer Sino Seng, were attacked in a cowardly ambush and fell victim to the very violence in our community that we are trying to combat,” Smith said at a briefing Friday.
Mazurkiewicz was shot at least once in the upper body, Smith said. He was taken to a hospital, where he died. Seng was treated at another hospital and released.
A bystander suffered injuries that were not life threatening and was treated at the scene, authorities said.
No arrests had been made as of Friday morning. Smith said “the full force of the region’s law enforcement” was being deployed "to bring whoever is responsible for this heinous act to justice.”
The officers were shot the same day that Mayor Malik Evans declared a “gun violence state of emergency” after a recent spate of shootings in Rochester, a city of about 200,000 on the shores of Lake Ontario.
“Tony Mazurkiewicz could have easily retired, but he chose to continue going on the streets because he didn’t want folks in our neighborhoods to be held hostage by the very cowards that are wreaking havoc in our community,” Evans said in a written statement Friday.
“Not only am I sad for the Mazurkiewicz family — and we pray for the speedy recovery of Sino Seng — I am angry. And upset. Because all too often, we are seeing a blatant disregard for life,” he said.
Evans said the city had, before Mazurkewicz's death, recorded 41 homicides this year and more than 200 people had been shot. The homicide count was one less than at the same time the previous year. The mayor said recent shootings were “directly tied to a deadly cycle of disputes and retaliations.”
In November 2021, the mayor at the time, Lovely Warren, declared a similar state of emergency to combat violence. The move clears the way for expanded resources and partnerships with other law enforcement agencies.
“Yesterday morning, at 11 am, I was asked by the media 'how dangerous is it out there for the officers of the Rochester Police Department?'” Smith wrote in a statement Friday. “My response was that every day, the men and women of this department leave home, not knowing if they are going to return home at the end of their shift.”
Mazurkiewicz, he said, was killed 10 hours later.