Community Reacts to Officer Shooting and Violence

Sep 4, 2014

Northeast Rochester neighbors express fear, frustration, and disappointment after a shooting that killed an RPD officer.
Credit Michelle Faust

Police blocked a large section of Hudson Avenue, near Warsaw Street Thursday morning for the investigation of a shooting Wednesday that killed Rochester Police Officer Daryl Pierson and left a suspect in guarded condition. A bystander was also shot, but the wounds are not considered life threatening.

Mariah Coley and many of her neighbors are reacting with fear, frustration, and disappointment after violent event that sent Coley running into her home.

Coley heard the shots from her porch and her first reaction was to grab her grandchildren and get them inside.

“When is all the violence going to stop? When is all the shooting going to stop? When is it going to be safe for anybody to step out their house and be okay to cross the street to the store?” asked Coley. “Because it's not safe no more.”

Coley, and some of her friends, express condolences for the officer, but say they’re concerned about tension between RPD and the community.

Alex Johnston and his roommate, Matt Gould, both live and work in the area. Johnston says he will not move, but sees Rochester’s inner city declining into violence.

“When you get an area where there are a lot of previous violent offenders, or a lot of drug use, or drug sales, or drug activity in general, there's always a lot of animosity between civilians and police officers,” said Johnston.

Sharon Dixon passes the intersection during her exercise routine. She’s sad about the shooting, but optimistic the city is slowly improving.

Sharon Dixon’s exercise routine was slowed, as she passed the police line. She says she’s worried for the entire community.

“Every life is precious. Whether it's the officer—my condolences to his family—the shooter—if he has kids, his parents—everyone is suffering in this situation,” said Dixon. “It's tough on the community in general, whether it's the loss of a life or someone getting shot.”

All people on the scene express concern about their own safety and that of their families, as well as condolences over the loss of Officer Pierson’s life.

Dixon was somewhat optimistic that Mayor Lovely Warren is taking measured steps to improve violent crime in Rochester.