Police fatally shoot man in Park Ave. neighborhood. What we know now

A man believed to be involved in at least two recent gun-related incidents was fatally shot by police on Milburn Street in Rochester's Park Avenue neighborhood Monday afternoon, according to Rochester police.

Rochester Police Chief David Smith on Monday evening said that officers from several departments were searching for a man linked to two shooting incidents that took place since Friday within Monroe County, when Monroe County Sheriff's deputies located the man in Milburn Street around 1 p.m.

More:Man fatally shot by police in Park Ave. neighborhood identified

Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter described the fatal encounter as part of "an escalating case" that spanned several days.

Smith said the investigation started Friday night after someone fired multiple shots from a vehicle into a closed business in the 400-block of Monroe Avenue in Rochester around 10 p.m. No one was injured. Later that night, officers located the involved vehicle, unoccupied, on Milburn Street and recovered two weapons from the vehicle, which was towed from the scene.

Around 7 a.m. Monday, Smith said Brighton police handled a road rage incident that traveled through Brighton ending on Hemingway Drive, near Elmwood Avenue, where someone fired several shots and struck a vehicle. Police linked the suspect vehicle back to the same Milburn Street address, Smith said.

Two hours later, Brighton and Rochester police officers attempted to stop the suspect vehicle as the driver left Milburn Street and led police on a brief chase. Smith said officers quickly called off the pursuit on Interstate 590 due to unsafe speeds and reckless driving.

The same man returned to Milburn Street just before 1 p.m. and when deputies attempted to stop him on nearby Vassar Street, he displayed a large hunting-style knife and threatened deputies, Smith said. A deputy fired one shot as the man ran.

After a half-mile chase through yards in the neighborhood, the man pointed a shotgun at police, who fired at him multiple times, Baxter said. Before he was shot, police officers and deputies located about 15 feet away repeatedly told the man to drop the gun, police said.

Baxter said the man had returned to his car during the foot chase, retrieved a bag and ultimately produced a gun from the bag. Rochester Police Lt. Greg Bello said that the man was struck by several bullets and was pronounced dead at the scene.

No officers or bystanders were injured during the encounter.

Children at nearby School No. 23 on Barrington Street were on temporarily lockout. The foot chase at one point passed through the school's parking lot. Several roads in the neighborhood were blocked off as police investigated.

"This was not the result we were looking for or are ever looking for," Baxter said as he described officers and deputies as heroes who risk their lives each day.

Smith said the state Attorney General's Office will investigate the shooting and both the Rochester Police Department and Monroe County Sheriff's Office will conduct internal investigations to determine whether the involved officers and deputies followed departmental procedure, policy and training.

Smith declined to identify the slain man but said the man has a criminal history and was known to police. The involved officers were also not named.

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans in a written statement described Monday's events as a "tragic incident that ended in the loss of one life and other lives changed forever."

Fatal police shootings

Nationwide, 291 individuals have been killed by police so far this year, including two people in New York, according to data from the gunviolencearchive.org. Last year, 1,402 individuals were killed by police nationwide; 22 of those deaths occurred in New York.

Since 2015, the New York Attorney General's Office investigates all incidents where a police officer may have caused the death of another person. The last such incident involving the Rochester Police Department was in March 2022, when off-duty RPD officer Melvin Williams fatally shot Janet Jordan, a 911 dispatcher, at her home.

There were five killings involving RPD officers in 2021. In four of the cases, the Attorney General's office concluded that no criminal charges would be brought against the officers involved. The attorney general did not investigate the fifth case, as it took place before an April 1, 2021 law change that gave the office the authority to look into all police-involved civilian deaths, not just those of unarmed civilians.

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Police fatally shoot man near School 23 in Rochester NY