A man has been arrested and charged with murder in the ambush-style shooting death of a veteran Rochester police officer on Thursday night, police said.
Kelvin Vickers, 21, was busted about an hour after Anthony Mazurkiewicza 29-year member of the force, was killed while sitting in a parked cruiser with his partner, Sino Seng at about 9:15 pm
The suspect was found hiding in a crawl space of a vacant house near the scene with a loaded 9mm handgun, Rochester Police Capt. Frank Umbrino said at a press conference on Friday.
A preliminary test has determined that the gun was the weapon used in the fatal shooting.
Seventeen shots were fired into the police vehicle from behind, authorities said.
Seng, an eight-year veteran with the department, was wounded in the leg and later discharged from the hospital. He jumped out of the vehicle and returned fire, but the suspect was not hit, cops said.
A 15-year-old girl in a nearby home was also struck and wounded.
Vickers was charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder, assault and weapons counts. He is from the Boston area and has an “extensive criminal background,” Umbrino said.
When he was 12-years-old, Vickers was charged for assault and battery on an officer, police told WHAM.
As an adult, he’s been convicted of possession of an unlicensed firearm, cops said.
The shooting came just hours after the upstate city was put under a state of emergency after another year of rampant gun violence.
“Tony Mazurkiewicz could have easily retired, but he chose to continue going on the streets because he didn’t want folks in our neighborhoods to be held hostage by the very cowards that are wreaking havoc in our community,” Mayor Malik Evans said in a written statement Friday.
“Not only am I sad for the Mazurkiewicz family — and we pray for the speedy recovery of Sino Seng — I am angry. And upset. Because all too often, we are seeing a blatant disregard for life,” he said.
Before Mazurkiewicz was slain, the city of about 200,000 people had seen 41 murders this year — one less than this time last year. Over 200 people have been shot so far this year.
The mayor said recent shootings were “directly tied to a deadly cycle of disputes and retaliations.”
A similar state of emergency was declared by the city’s previous mayor, Lovely Warren, in Nov. 2021. The declaration offers the city additional resources from other law enforcement agencies to combat the violence.
At the press conference, Umbrino recalled how after Thursday’s declaration, he’d been asked, “how dangerous is it out there for the officers of the Rochester Police Department?”
“My response was that every day the men and women of this department leave their home not knowing if they will return to see their families at the end of their shift,” he said, growing emotional.
“Ten hours later, Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz — a father, a husband and a 29-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department — was killed in the line of duty.”
“It was Tony Mazurkiewicz today. But it could be any of us in this room tomorrow,” he said.
Vickers will be arraigned in Rochester City Court on Saturday morning, WHAM reported.
With Post Wires