‘I’m tired of looking at wrapped caskets’: Community speaks out after violent few days

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester Police released the name of the man they say fired shots at them Thursday afternoon. It was during the chase of a homicide suspect. He’s been identified as 36-year old Nicholas DeLeon. Police say he once dated the murder victim’s mother.

Just hours after his arrest, a group of citizens gathered on Lamont Place to say they’re fed up with all this violence in the community.

Rochester Police say when they found their suspect riding in a car on Avenue D, they attempted to make a felony stop. In the car’s passenger seat was DeLeon, a suspect in the fatal shooting of Christian Santiago. The driver sped off, and during a brief chase, police say DeLeon fired two shots out the window at them. Police fired back once. Minutes later, DeLeon threw the gun out the window, and police were able to stop the car near Avenue D and Joseph Avenue. Both he and the female driver were taken into custody without further incident.

"I’d like to add that this is yet another example of the dangers our police officers face on a daily basis," said Interim Chief David Smith.

Santiago’s death is the city’s 64th homicide of the year. Thursday night several community leaders and private citizens gathered on Lamont Place to come together and form a coalition against violence, but organizer Anthony Hall says primarily against gun violence. They all say enough is enough.

"We know that we cannot police our way out of this," Hall said. "We know we need community folks in this fight, and the community it serves have to believe that the leaders whether you are a community leader, elected leader, or faith-based leader is doing something."

Part of the coalition is getting different groups to work together, but most importantly work to help prevent more gun violence.

"The folks who are deciding to use guns we want to be able to tell them not to use it even if you have one, don’t use it to harm someone, and I think this coalition is more about the ability of folks to work together as a collective community," said Bishop Fred Johnson, Pastor of the First Genesis Baptist Church.

People touched by violent crimes taking part as well.

"I am so sick and tired of looking at stand-up cut-outs of human beings that should still be here," said Dhoretha Pass. "I’m tired of looking at wrapped caskets."

Nicholas DeLeon is scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning in Rochester City Court. Stay tuned to News10NBC starting at noon for the updates.