Rochester’s faith leaders aim to ‘Set the example of what love looks like in this community.’
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As Rochester’s faith community turns to prayer in the city’s epidemic of violence, police are marking one success with the arrest of a suspect for a deadly shooting, only hours after they announced he was wanted. 64-year-old Steven Owens was arrested Sunday night murder charges for a double shooting on Pioneer Street over the weekend. That incident is just one in a series of homicides that has pushed Rochester into grim record territory.
Around 6 p.m. police arrested Owens inside a home on the southwestern side of the city. It’s not clear exactly where the arrest was made, but he is facing multiple charges including murder, and assault. In the fight to stop the violence, community action groups, and even places of worship are making efforts to help. On a Sunday morning, Rochester faith leaders responded to a citywide call, to pray for an end to the violence.
"We’re on a up rise in homicides, so we’re trying to do something that we believe, and stand upon that we know that prayer, is the key that will bring healing to a hurting city,” Nolan Williams said, the senior pastor, for Arc Of The Covenant.
A few hours later after community members congregated, you could say, some prayers were answered. Just two hours after a warrant was issued for his arrest, police picked up Steven Owens. He’s a suspect in a shooting over the weekend that killed his son 34-year-old Malcolm Owens and wounded another man. The search for other suspects in a list of other murders continues. Rochester has reached a record of 75 homicides.
Most recently, a Rochester man in his 30’s was shot to death near Athens Street and Harris Street Saturday night around 11pm. Police were also on scene of a shooting at Black Bear Pub on West Ridge Road over the weekend. In video shot from a nearby business, you see what led up to the shooting, and people running frantically for cover after shots were fired. Police are still searching for suspects in those cases.
Church leaders say violence doesn’t have an age, and they want to embrace everyone in the healing process especially young ones.
“We want to bring new children into our doors, and mention to them one on one and teach them ways to help prepare them for a greater future in their life,” Nolan Williams added.
"As a church we ought to, set the example of what love looks like in this community,” Shelia Williams said, co-pastor for Arc Of the Covenant.
Owens will be arraigned in Rochester City Court Monday morning.