ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Mayor Malik Evans and Rochester Police Chief David Smith held a press conference to discuss the shooting that killed a 12-year-old boy and injured a 16-year-old boy on Atkinson Street Monday evening.
Officers said that they responded to the area of Atkinson Street and Reynolds Street at around 7 p.m. for several ShotSpotter activations.
Once on scene, officers found a 12-year-old boy dead from at least one gunshot wound to the upper body. He was identified by police as Juan Lopez, a seventh grade student at Benjamin Franklin Education Campus.
Shortly after police arrived, a second call came in for a shooting victim on Prospect Street. There, police said they found a 16-year-old boy suffering from at least one severe gunshot wound to the upper body. With the help of a citizen, officers said they performed critical care on an arterial wound.
He was transported to the University of Rochester Medical Center via ambulance. As of approximately 9:30 p.m. Monday, he is in serious but stable condition.
Initial investigation revealed that the two had been walking down the street when at least one suspect opened fire. Police said the motive is unknown at this time.
Both boys lived in the neighborhood. The Major Crimes Unit is handling the investigation.
Chief David Smith, in a press conference with Mayor Malik Evans, gave a warning to parents to make sure they know where their children are.
“Parents, know what your children are doing, know who their friends are, look at their social media, know where they’re going, who they’re hanging out with,” Chief Smith said. “Being actively involved in your children’s life goes a long, long way.”
Evans said that someone in the community knows what happened and those individuals need to come forward.
“I can put millions of dollars into the Rochester Peace Collective, I can pay for police overtime, I can have the US Marshalls here, we can work with the Department of Justice, we can add Pathways to Peace workers,” Mayor Evans said. “But there’s a missing element here — and the missing element here is someone knows what happened to this 12-year-old child.”
Evans called the fact that children are being shot embarrassing.
“This is shameful, pitiful, and embarrassing on all of us us as a society when we are having young children die and they’re not going to war,” Evans said. “But they’re babies. A 12-year-old kid. It has to stop.”
No further information on the shooting has been released yet. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact 911, the Major Crimes Unit @ 585-428-7157, Crime Stoppers @ 585-423-9300, or email MajorCrimes@cityofrochester.gov. Mayor Evans also encouraged people with information to call the Mayor’s Office directly.
STATEMENT FROM ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT DR. CARMINE PELUSO:
Our District is in mourning again, and I am struggling to find words that articulate the anger I feel as our community loses another child to violence in our streets. With this senseless tragedy, classmates have lost a friend, parents have lost a child, and we have lost another beacon of hope for the future of our city. So much promise lost!
I am sickened by the violence and how it continues to plague us. We need the community to step up. If you know something, say something. As this tragedy has the power to affect all of us, we have the power to stop the killing of our children.
I extend my deepest condolences to Juan’s family. He was loving and kind; his classmates and teachers will never forget him.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we continue to update this developing story.