Rochester Police, mayor address homes being hit by gunfire

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — In the last week, several Rochester homes have been hit by gunfire. The Rochester Police Department says it’s not calling these incidents an "uptick" but it wants to be transparent with the community about what’s happening in their neighborhoods.

Investigators said they have to look at data to determine if this series of shootings would be considered an "uptick" and that under Mayor Malik Evans’s administration, they’ve been given the green light to make incidents more public.

"Every time a bullet is fired it’s got to go somewhere unfortunately in some of these disputes where houses aren’t targeted there might be a dispute in the street where shots are fired and an incident house is struck,” Lt. Greg Bello said.

Overnight, police say two homes were hit by bullets. One was on Bernard Street. One man inside that home was hit but is expected to be ok. About 45 minutes later another home was hit 10 times on Pierpont Street, no one was hurt but a 12-year-old was inside the house.

"It really gets my blood to boil when an 11 or 12-year-old kid is minding their own business and a bullet hits their house,” Mayor Malik Evans said during a press conference Wednesday.

Monday, police say shots had been fired at two homes on Roycroft Drive near Carter Street. One woman was hit by that gunfire when bullets pierced her home. She’s expected to be ok.

"Who’s in that house is unknown, to whoever that shooter is, kids, family, one person might be targeted but there might be like 20 people in that house and that’s the scary part,” Bello added.

Bello says the department recently launched "Neighbors app." Neighbors is tied to ring doorbell cameras. They’re urging people to utilize neighbors, which can be done anonymously—to help them solve cases. Last week RPD arrested three people with illegal handguns, who had a dispute on Baycliff Drive in January. A home was collateral damage in that situation.

"People or group on the street fighting, Baycliff for example, it hit a house that had nothing to do with anything with that dispute that was happening in the street,” Bello added.

Mayor Evans said community help is crucial.

"We need individuals to come forward and cooperate with us. In many of these instances people whose houses have been hit, are uncooperative so we need people to feel as though they have the ability to step up and work with law enforcement,” Evans said.

Evans added that fighting this issue comes down to different things, illegal guns, disputes, and going after people who have a history of carrying illegal guns.