Officer killed, another hurt in 'ambush' hours after Rochester mayor declares gun violence emergency

A Rochester, New York, police officer was fatally shot and another injured after a gunman opened fire on them Thursday night in a "cowardly ambush," police said.

Anthony Mazurkiewicz was shot at least once in the upper body in the assault, which unfolded at around 9:15 p.m. in the area of Bauman Street, Rochester Police Chief David Smith said at a Friday morning news conference.

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," Smith said.

Officer Sino Seng, an eight-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department, was shot at least once in the lower body. He was taken to Rochester General Hospital.

"Thankfully, he was treated, released and is now recuperating from his injuries at home with his wife and children," Smith said.

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.

“Our police officers are out there sacrificing their lives for us every day,” Evans said after the shooting, according to WROC, a television station in Rochester affiliated with CBS.

“They perform their jobs in dangerous conditions as we go about our daily lives and we owe them a great debt of gratitude," Evans said. "I pray for the comfort of the officers shot tonight, and for their families, friends, and all of their fellow first responders.”

Smith said an investigation into the fatal shooting was ongoing.

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