Updated: 12/04/2013 5:50 PM
Created: 12/04/2013 11:08 AM WHEC.com
An 18-year-old Rochester man has been charged in connection with the shooting death of 18-year-old Kemari Hodricks of Rochester.
Dante Rankin, a student in the New Beginnings program in the Rochester City School District, is charged with second-degree murder.
Police say Rankin shot Hodricks on Monday afternoon on Genesee Street. Hodricks was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Below is the letter that Superintendent Bolgen Vargas to sent to families in the Rochester City School District regarding this incident:
Dear Parents and Families,
I write to you with a heavy heart and urgent request. Two days ago, an 18-year-old was shot and killed on Genesee Street across from Joseph C. Wilson Commencement Academy. Yesterday, police arrested another young man who is alleged to have been involved in the crime. Both are former students at District schools, who were later served by special instruction programs we offer for troubled youth.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families, friends and school communities affected by these tragic events. But that is not the only reason my heart is heavy. These are the latest in a series of violent events this year, in which the victims and alleged perpetrators were current or former Rochester students.
As I often say, the Rochester City School District is ultimately responsible for the education of your children. But we cannot do it alone. Since I have become Superintendent, the community has been overwhelmingly generous in providing the help our District requests. But that is not enough.
We urgently need more support from parents and families to address the problem of youth violence, inside and outside our schools.
All of the school programs and support services our community offers can’t replace the need for active and committed parents, or other adults in a parenting role. We need you to:
Children who do these things will succeed in school. I say that with absolute confidence because many of our students are already doing well. But too many are falling through the cracks, and falling prey to violence.
If you need help to make these things happen, ask for it. Our community is rich in resources to help families deal with any issue that keeps children from succeeding. Call 211, your child’s school, your minister or another trusted adult. I assure you that people will be there to help you and your children.
Our District will provide whatever resources are needed to be sure that school is the safest place for your children to be, every day. We will provide the academic instruction and extra support they need to achieve. But I cannot take total responsibility for their safety or academic success. We need your help—and they do, too.
Superintendent of Schools