A Rochester, New York, police officer was fatally shot and another injured after a gunman opened fire on their unmarked car Thursday night in a "cowardly ambush," police said.
The suspect was arrested at a vacant home within an hour after the shooting that occurred around 9:15 p.m., officials said Friday.
He allegedly fired 17 rounds at the vehicle the officers were in from behind some shrubs.
The slain officer, Anthony Mazurkiewicz, was shot at least twice in the upper body as he sat in the driver’s seat of the vehicle parked in the area of Baumann Street, police said.
Mazurkiewicz, a 29-year veteran of the force, as well as a husband and father, was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital. “Despite heroic efforts, he passed away,” Rochester Police Chief David Smith said.
Officer Sino Seng, an eight-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department, was shot once in the lower body. He got out of the car and shot at the gunman but did not hit him, police said. Seng was treated at a hospital and released.
The suspect, 21-year-old Kelvin Vickers, was apprehended at a vacant house and officers recovered a 9 mm handgun, police said.
The officers who were shot, as well as other police, were working on an ongoing murder investigation at the time of the shooting, police Capt. Frank Umbrino said at a Friday news conference.
The officers who were shot were inside what Umbrino described as a "unmarked plainclothes vehicle" that was parked.
Smith, the police chief, declined to comment when asked whether investigators believe Vickers was targeting police officers in the shooting, citing an ongoing investigation.
The deadly shooting unfolded hours after Rochester Mayor Malik Evans declared a gun violence state of emergency in response to a “surge in shootings and deadly shootings” in the city, with Smith noting on Friday that Mazurkiewicz and Seng had fallen victim “to the very violence in our community that we are trying to combat.”
"Yesterday morning ... at 11 a.m., I was asked by a reporter, 'how dangerous is it out there for the officers of the Rochester Police Department?'" he said. "My response to him 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. Ten hours later, Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz ... was killed in the line of duty."
Evans signed a proclamation Thursday morning declaring the state of emergency, which was set to go into affect at 12 p.m. that day.
In the proclamation, Evans said that as of Thursday morning, there had been at least 202 shooting victims so far this year, with the city’s homicides totaling 41 as of the same date. He said that at least 34, or 82%, of those homicides involved the use of a firearm.
It was not clear if Vickers had an attorney who could speak on his behalf Friday night.
Vickers is charged with murder in the second degree; attempted murder in the second degree; assault in the second degree; and two counts of criminal weapons possession, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said Friday.
He is due to be arraigned in Rochester on Saturday, she said.