MCSO identifies Perinton man hit, killed by deputy

PERINTON, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Monday identified the Perinton man hit and killed by a deputy as he crossed the road early Friday morning.

MCSO says 32-year-old Wesley Soper was hit as he was walking across Route 31 in Perinton around 2:30 a.m. The deputy who MCSO says hit him has been identified as Michael Houlihan, who has been on road patrol for three years.

At the time Soper was hit, MCSO says Houlihan had been heading west on 31 when he spotted what he thought was a suspicious vehicle parked at a nearby Chase Bank. They say Houlihan’s focus had turned to that vehicle in question as he was driving. The deputy was in a marked patrol car, and was on duty- but was not directly responding to a call.

Upon hitting Soper, deputies say he activated his body-worn camera and immediately stopped to give medical aid and call 911. Soper later died at Strong Memorial Hospital. Sheriff Todd Baxter referred to the crash as "truly tragic."

Deputies said Monday Houlihan was traveling roughly two miles over the posted speed limit of 45 mph at the time of the crash. Investigators are continuing to review Houlihan’s body-worn camera footage, as well as working to talk with witnesses, among other moves.

As per New York State Executive Law Section 70-b, the New York Attorney General’s Office officially confirmed in a brief statement Monday that it has opened an investigation.

"The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office wishes to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Soper," deputies said. "We will continue to have contact with Mr. Soper’s family and answer any of their questions."

The agency added it has made its support teams available to Deputy Houlihan. He was placed on Administrative Assignment.

Leaders also said Friday the office does plan on releasing the bodycam footage, though an exact timeline was not given.