WATCH: Police release body camera video of deadly officer-involved shooting on W Main Street
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Police Tuesday released the body-worn camera video from the officer-involved shooting that happened on W Main Street on Oct. 6.
Police were responding to a robbery in progress at the Family Dollar just after 9:30 p.m. Customers were inside at the time.
Editor’s Note: This video is graphic and may be disturbing to some. Viewer discretion is advised.
On Oct. 8, Police said the man shot and killed by officers was identified as 24-year-old Simran S. Gordon. On Oct. 7, police said that the suspect was a suspect in three recent homicides.
The video RPD released begins with an explanation from Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan about why it took the department almost a week to release the body camera video.
The RPD includes annotations in the video.
Once police enter the Family Dollar, the video shows the suspect attempts to flee. The police officers chase after him, with one attempting to grab his arm.
RPD annotations say the suspect fired the first shot, then one of the officers returned fire. One of the officers approached the suspect after he fell on the ground, telling him to drop the gun.
The annotation in the video points to a gun that the suspect was holding, concealed in a brown paper bag.
The video shows the female officer saying "Tell them to start EMS on W Main," after the gun was secured.
Many Rochester City Councilmembers signed on to the following statement released Tuesday:
Today, the City Council viewed the body worn camera footage from the October 6 attempted armed robbery at the Family Dollar on West Main Street. We would like to start by offering our condolences to the family members and loved ones of the deceased, Simran S. Gordon. Chair of Public Safety and the Roc Against Gun Violence Coalition, President Lightfoot said, “I will continue to pray and work toward a Rochester where our citizens do not resort to such violent acts, and where no lives are lost as a result of gun violence.”
Nevertheless, the officers involved in this incident upheld their duty to protect innocent bystanders and kept the customers and employees safe from harm, and we must commend them for that. The bravery of the staff who called 911 and the heroic acts of the responding officers saved any additional lives from being lost. We encourage anyone impacted by the trauma of this incident to seek support by calling 211, or by talking to a trusted family member, loved one, or professional.
While we often focus on the complexity of police-community relations and the need for reform in our public safety system, we also need to acknowledge the difficult nature of a police officer’s job and their willingness to step into the line of fire to protect citizens.
Signed – City Council President Loretta C. Scott, Vice President Willie J. Lightfoot, Northeast District Representative Michael A. Patterson, and Northwest District Representative Jose M. Peo
The councilmembers who did not sign the statement are Mitch Gruber, Miguel Melendez, LaShay Harris, and Mary Lupien. Malik Evans, the presumptive next mayor of Rochester, also did not sign the statement.
Evans sent a separate statement:
"Today, I watched the body-worn camera footage of the Officer-involved shooting on October 6th at an attempted armed robbery at the Family Dollar on West Main Street. I offer my condolences to the family of Simran S. Gordon. This incident serves as a reminder of the dangers front-line workers face in our community daily. My thoughts are with the store employees and officers who stepped into a violent situation. I stand committed to ending gun violence and the trauma it is causing in our community. We must work together to build a stronger, safer community."
Free the People Roc posted the following statement on Facebook:
"One week after the RPD murdered Simran Gordon, they released redacted, heavily edited footage to the public, filled with biased rhetoric and propaganda in an effort to hide the simple truth: TH eRPD shot and killed Simran Gordon. Simran was shot in the back and handcuffed while he took his last breaths on this earth.
"We remind the community of the grief and overwhelming trauma that Black people across the City of Rochester are facing. There are immediate needs of the families who have lost loved ones at the hands of the police, and the Mayor and City Council should be invested in ending the crisis of police violence and getting much needed resources into the communities they serve. Police get away with murder, while Black families have to live their lives knowing they’ll never see their loved ones again.
"We echo the families [sic] demands:
- The officers who murdered Simran must be fired immediately.
- Detective Dennis Gonzales from the Attorney General’s office must be removed from [the] investigation immediately. He’s an RPD veteran and has been extremely disrespectful to the family and proven to be biased[.]
- Turn over all unredacted body camera footage, blue light footage and store footage to the family immediately[.]
"Justice for Simran Gordon would be seeing him alive today, playing with his son and spending quality time with his family."
The Rochester Police Accountability Board’s Executive Director Conor Dwyer Reynolds told News10NBC the PAB wants to see more than just the portion of the body camera video that was released Tuesday.
"You know we have to see all of the evidence," Dwyer Reynolds said. "We have to have a full investigation before we jump to conclusions about this stuff, and releasing this kind of video prematurely doesn’t help anyone."
This marks the fourth deadly Rochester Police shooting in 2021.
- The first happened just up the road on West Main Street near the Open Door Mission back on March 12. Tyshon Jones was shot and killed when he ran towards an officer with a knife in his hand during what his family later described as a mental health incident. Police body cam footage shows the officer backing up and asking Jones multiple times to drop the knife. A Grand Jury determined the shooting was justified.
- On May 14, Mark Gaskill was shot and killed by police on Glasser Street. Police say Gaskill had a gun and refused to get out of a vehicle. Officers say they were in the area because a shot spotter picked up gunfire moments earlier. Two officers fired nine shots.
- On June 4. Timothy Flowers was shot and killed by a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team as police say he ran as the team attempted to arrest him for attempted murder, first-degree assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. Flowers reportedly shot at officers, hitting the uniform of one officer. There is no known bodycam footage of the incident as the team did not have the cameras.