What we know about the killing of Officer Mazurkiewicz and the man charged
Here’s what we know about the ambush that killed RPD Officer Mazurkiewicz, the two other people shot, and Kelvin Vickers who was charged with murder and since arraigned.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Two RPD officers, Tony Mazurkiewicz and Sino Seng, were shot in the line of duty during an ambush near Bauman Street on July 21. Officer Mazurkiewicz has died and Officer Seng is recovering from his injuries.
A 15-year-old girl was also shot during the ambush. A stray bullet went through a wall in her house as she was sitting in her living room. News10NBC spoke with the girl, Tamaia Walker, who said she is recovering from the gunshot wound.
Kelvin Vickers, 21 of Massachusetts is charged with the second-degree murder of Officer Mazurkiewicz. He’s also charged with attempted murder, assault, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
Vickers is being held in Monroe County jail without bail. On Wednesday, a Monroe County grand jury indicted Vickers on at least one charge. We won’t know which charge until the grand jury rises, which may be after the funeral for the fallen RPD officer.
RPD said that a suspect, later identified as Vickers, fired 17 shots as he hid behind shrubs from about 10-15 feet away from the two officers, who were in an unmarked police car. The RPD officers were in plain clothes and part of an intelligence unit investigating a recent murder.
Mazurkiewicz, who was in the driver’s seat, was shot in the torso. Seng was shot in the leg and exited the car and returned fire. The suspect was not shot and ran away. RPD Chief David Smith said that over 13 police agencies responded to the scene of the shooting.
Mazurkiewicz was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital, where he died at around 11:30 p.m., three hours after the ambush. Seng was taken to Rochester General Hospital and is now at home recovering from at least one gunshot wound to the lower body.
Mazurkiewicz, who was 54, served the RPD for 29 years. He leaves behind four children, three grandchildren, and his life Lynn. According to his obituary, Mazurkiewicz loved to cook and go to his childrens’ and grandchildrens’ sports games. He enjoyed sitting around his backyard bonfire, telling jokes, and watching the grandkids run around the yard.
"Tony will be remembered as a witty jokester who could make anyone laugh. To his family, he will always be the absolute best man that ever existed," said the obituary.
Mazurkeiwicz was born in Amsterdam, NY and graduated from SUNY Brockport. He then went on to work for the Monroe County Sheriff’s department before starting at the RPD in 1993.
Fairport, the hometown of Mazurkeiwicz, honored his memory by tying blue ribbons around trees along Main Street. Rochester General Hospital and Unity Hospital also displayed blue color to honor the fallen officer. The last RPD officer killed was Daryl Pierson, a father of two, back in 2014.
On the funeral procession route from Richard H. Keenan Funeral Home in Egypt to the Public Saftey Building, community members displayed blue lights on their phones in the town of Perinton.
Fellow officers have shared tributes to Mazurkiewicz. Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said he knew Mazurkiewicz and said he’s proud of the ways the community has honored the fallen officer.
"We spent many years together in the tactical unit of the city Police department. It was an honor to work with him," Baxter said.
RPD Lt. Greg Bello said Mazurkiewicz was a role model.
“Officer Mazurkiewicz lost his life protecting the community so to get a response back is great to see and really heartwarming," Bello said. "Officer Mazurkiewicz is that role model, he’s one of my role models. I just worked an assignment with him about a month ago and the thoughtfulness that he put into the work we were going to do, to do something dangerous, the thought and questions he asked to make sure that we were doing things thoroughly and safely, that was what he did.”
Police said they found Vickers shortly after the ambush hiding in the second-floor crawl space of an abandoned house and took him into custody. Police said that Vickers had a loaded 9mm handgun on him. Preliminary firearms testing suggests that it was the gun used in the shooting.
Vickers’s first court appearance was on July 23, when he was arraigned in Rochester City Court. He was supposed to reappear on Wednesday for a court hearing, but the grand jury waived that appearance. The grand jury will have the final say in what Vickers will be charged with and his murder charge could be upgraded to first degree.
The last known address for Vickers is in Brockton, a suburb north of Boston, which is 400 miles from Rochester. Vickers has had a long history of criminal convictions. He was released from a Massachusetts maximum security prison on May 24 after serving a three-year sentence for a gun possession crime. He was not on parole or supervision after he was released.
Police said Vickers was 12 years old when he faced charges of assault and battery on an officer. Before his 18th birthday, he would be charged with burglary-related offenses, strangulation with a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon, and two separate possession of firearms offenses. When he was 18 he was convicted of possessing an unlicensed firearm.
News10NBC’s Berkeley Brean asked Mayor Malik Evans what the suspect from Massachusetts was doing in Rochester. Evans said it’s unknown, but it will likely be the focus of the investigation into the murder.
"We will not tolerate people coming from out of state, in state, trying to create havoc in our community," Evans said.
How to donate or send condolences to family of Officer Mazurkiewicz
The Rochester Police Foundation has set up a page to donate to the Rochester Police officers shot on Thursday and their families. All contributions are tax-deductible, and all proceeds raised will go toward supporting the wife and children of Officer Mazurkiewicz, and helping Officer Seng recover from his injuries.
- You can donate online here.
- You can send a donation by mail to: Rochester Police Foundation, 620 Park Avenue #143, Rochester, New York 14607
The Rochester Police Union Locust Club has also set up a donation page for the family of Officer Mazurkiewicz. They’re also accepting letters of condolences for the family.
- You can donate online here.
- You can send a donation by mail to: Rochester Police Locust Club, Inc. 1425 Lexington Avenue. Rochester, NY 14606
All branches of Canandaigua National Bank are also accepting donations for the family of Officer Mazurkiewicz. You can call or visit any bank branch.
Funeral services for Officer Mazurkiewicz
The funeral for Officer Mazurkiewicz will be held on Monday at the Blue Cross Arena. The service starts at 12 p.m.
The service is only for first responders and their families but you can watch live coverage on whec.com starting at 11 a.m.
Officer Mazurkiewicz will be buried at White Haven Memorial Park. The family is asking people to donate to the Rochester police union Locust Club in lieu of flowers.
Father Donald Wollschlegger, the patrol chaplin for the RPD, will conduct the opening prayers. After the opening prayers will be the eulogies. According to the program, 11 people are scheduled to speak. The first four speakers include Mazurkiewicz’s sons and daughters. His brother-in-law will be the last member of the family members to speak.
Other speakers will include a family friend and neighbor, RPD Chief David Smith, Locust Club president Mike Mazzeo, and three members of the Rochester police tactical unit. Father Edward Palumbos will finish the eulogies with a closing prayer.
Calling hours were on Sunday at the Richard H. Keenan Funeral Home in Egypt. As the procession left the funeral home and went through Perinton, community members lit the town with blue lights on their phones. The procession ended at the Public Saftey Building.
Road closures during funeral
In order to accommodate the Funeral Service for Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, the following Downtown streets will be closed to traffic on Monday, August 1 starting at 8 a.m.:
- Broad Street from South Avenue to S. Fitzhugh Street
- Court Street from South Avenue to Exchange Boulevard
- Exchange Boulevard from Main Street to S. Fitzhugh Street
- South Avenue from Main Street to Broad Street
Call over the police scanner
Below is the police call that came in over the scanner when the ambush started:
Press conference about shooting
Chief Smith and Mayor Malik Evans spoke at an 8 a.m. press conference at the public safety building Friday. You can watch it below.
Criminal complaint from Rochester City Court:
A criminal felony complaint was filed against Vickers’ after his attorney entered a not guilty plea for him.