Update: Police identified the man shot and killed outside 1298 Dewey Ave. Wednesday. Devon Wilburn, 29, of Rochester was identified as the victim.
No suspects are in custody. Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or contact RPD’s Major Crimes Unit at (585) 428-7616.
Original story (March 25): A 29-year-old Rochester man was fatally shot in northwest Rochester.
The man, who was not identified by police, was taken to Rochester General Hospital by private vehicle on Wednesday evening, said Capt Frank Umbrino of the Rochester Police Department. Although it was initially reported that the man, who was shot at least once, suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening, “his condition changed for the worse,” and he died around 8:30 p.m., Umbrino said.
The shooting, Umbrino said, is believed to have taken place on Dewey and Magee avenues in Rochester around 7 p.m.
The slaying comes one day after Garry Robinson, 30, of Rochester was shot to death on Forbes Street in southwest Rochester.
No charges have been filed in connection with either homicide.
According to the Rochester Police Department’s Open Data Portal, Wednesday’s fatal shooting on Dewey was the city’s 11th homicide of 2021 and its sixth slaying within the month of March, each of which took place within the last two weeks. By comparison, five homicides occurred in Rochester within the same time frame in 2020.
“The violence we are seeing in our city and across our nation is beyond reprehensible,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said in a written statement on Wednesday night. “While the perpetrators and victims of this violence are known to each other in the vast majority of these crimes, the cycle of retaliation must end. Those engaged in this violence are giving those who want to see our community suffer exactly what they want. It is unacceptable.”
Warren said that she directed the Rochester Police Department to “implement additional targeted enforcement efforts to protect our community.”
City Council Vice President Willie Lightfoot agreed with the move.
“We must protect our community, our neighborhoods and each other,” he said in a written statement. “We must choose to be our brother’s keeper and not his enemy. If we don’t, we only harm ourselves.”
Malik Evans, a City Council member and Rochester mayoral candidate, said the uptick was “alarming and heartbreaking” and called for a comprehensive strategy to reduce violence.
Since April 2020, the city has seen a reduction in violent crimes, but that has been met with a dramatic rise in gun-related violence, interim Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan said.
Herriott-Sullivan and Executive Deputy Chief Andre Anderson promised a proactive, victim-oriented response to gun violence at a Thursday afternoon press briefing. The chief said this rise in gun violence is not unique to Rochester. It’s happening all over the country, she said.
They said officers would work to connect victims to available resources and to make sure victims and their families are supported. Anderson called it a “holistic approach.”
“You may have kids who were potentially harmed by the tragedy,” Anderson said. “That would mean we could potentially use our FACIT (Family and Crisis Intervention Team) to assist the kids that were involved in the trauma. They’re also victims of what transpired, while also placing the greatest emphasis on the victim shot by addressing the suspect.”
They said the approach would be data-driven, utilizing predictive resources to identify “prolific offenders,” or those who are being charged with weapons possession of reckless endangerment.
Of the 237 cases involving criminal possession of a weapon charges in 2020, judges in those cases set bail at less than $5,000 61% of the time. They working to determine how many are repeat offenders and how many are responsible for the uptick in gun violence.
Anderson and Herriott-Sullivan said they would seek the input of the courts to address some of these issues. “I see our role as meeting with the courts and bringing this to their attention,” the chief said. “And then we work together on a plan like that. … We’ll bring them the data and then we’ll talk about a strategy.”
They shared limited data Thursday. When asked if bail reform was a hindrance and leading to more gun violence, Herriott-Sullivan said only certain charges are applicable to state’s amended bail reform law.
“If we see a pattern of re-offending, we want to work with the courts to identify those folks,” she offered. “… It doesn’t necessarily point a bad finger at bail reform, because some of these guns and violence charges don’t fall under that.”
Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call 911 or contact RPD at (585) 428-7616 or [email protected]