1 dead, 3 injured after shooting, fight at recreation center park in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – One person is dead and three others hospitalized following an overnight shooting on North Clinton Avenue at the Recreation Center near Upper Falls Boulevard on Tuesday.

Police say 24-year-old Willie Wofford was shot and killed. Two men and one woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries. All of the victims were residents of the town, according to investigators.

Investigators say officers were called to the yard at the Baden Street Recreation Center at around 2:40 a.m. They found about 300 people at the Trenton and Pamela Jackson R-Center for what police called a “party not permitted”.

Police say a fight near the basketball court at recess escalated, resulting in gunfire. This fight was still ongoing when officers arrived at the scene.

“More than 300 people attended an illegal and unauthorized event and remained in a high state of unrest even after officers arrived to assist,” Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said in a statement released Tuesday. afternoon. “In fact, some sought to further inflame the crowd and turn the violence against the officers themselves.”

Officers were able to find Wofford, but police say an ambulance struggled to navigate the sea of ​​passers-by and revelers.

Wofford was rushed to a nearby hospital in the back seat of a patrol car where officers attempted to save lives. These efforts ultimately failed, and he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

Three other victims were transported to Strong’s Hospital in private vehicles.

An investigation is currently underway. Authorities have blocked off parts of North Clinton Avenue pending this investigation into the homicide.

There is no one in custody at this time. Major Crimes Unit officials are asking revelers to share videos or information with police.

Mayor Evans said he had instructed the Rochester Police Department to crack down on unlawful gatherings, “to prevent future occurrences of this nature.”

Anyone with knowledge of such a gathering is asked to call 911.

“The life you save could be yours or that of someone you love,” he said.

Statement from Rochester Mayor Malik Evans

I am deeply saddened but not surprised that the unusually high wave of violence that swept the nation this weekend has also swept through Rochester. From Friday July 1 to Monday July 4, 11 people were shot on the streets of Rochester, three of whom died from their injuries.

Once again, my heart is broken for the victims, families and friends affected by these tragic and senseless acts; and once again, I am grateful to the men and women of the Rochester Police Department and our law enforcement partners for their swift and incredibly courageous responses, which prevented further loss of life and injury.

I especially want to commend the officers on scene during this morning’s shooting at Clinton-Baden Park, where more than 300 people attended an illegal and unauthorized event and remained in a high state of unrest even after the shooting. arrival of officers. In fact, some sought to further inflame the crowd and turn the violence against the officers themselves.

I have called on the Rochester Police Department to step up its enforcement of unlawful assembly to prevent future occurrences of this nature. I ask anyone who finds out about plans for an unauthorized event through their own social media to call 911 and let us know what you know. The life you save could be yours or that of someone you love.

Members of the City’s Pathways to Peace street outreach teams also focus their activities in this area to provide targeted community support. I urge all who attended this event, as well as their friends and family members, to seek peaceful solutions to any disputes that may persist as a result of this violence. We must not perpetuate violence with more violence and bring continued tragedy to our children and families.

Once again, I would like to express my gratitude to our law enforcement partners, including the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police, for their continued commitment to providing additional resources to help us end the unprecedented pandemic crisis. violent crime levels.

Finally, I want to extend my prayers, condolences and support to my fellow mayors and their citizens and police in the other cities who face their own horrific and tragic acts of weekend violence with the added element of hate, especially those in Highland Park, Illinois and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The common denominator of all these incidents, whether premeditated or circumstantial, are illegal firearms. I will continue to include my voice among mayors and urban leaders calling for common sense solutions to these very predictable challenges.

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Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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