Family grieves 21-year-old killed on Genesee Street

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – This year, there have been four homicides in the neighborhood of Genesee Street, Frost Avenue, and Jefferson Avenue.

Anthony Bonilla is the latest victim. The 21-year-old was shot and killed on Genesee Street at a party Sunday night.

“For some reason, they were waiting for my son there. When he got there, it was just seconds later, they kicked the door and they shot him,” Johnny Bonilla, Anthony’s father, said.

Anthony Bonilla left the house about 9:30 p.m. to head to a party at a building on Genesee Street, near Frost Avenue. His father never imagined that would be the last time he would see his son.

There were dozens of people who were at the party and his family believes many know who killed Anthony.

“They came out their car. It was a burgundy Kia. They kicked the door in, and my son had to hide in a room fearing for his life and they found out where he was at, and they shot him. His ID card – everything was full of blood,” Bonilla said.

Anthony feared for his life, his family says. His mom Elizabeth shared his last words to her before leaving the house.

“’Ma, I’ll be okay.’ I told him, ‘Be careful,’” Elizabeth Bonilla said.

Rochester City Councilmember Willie Lightfoot lives in the area and has a barber shop in the neighborhood. He spoke to News10NBC during his ROC Against Gun Violence Coalition meeting at City Hall Monday night about the spike in violence in the Genesee Street area.

“This is like a horror movie that we’ve watched way too many times. My business is on Jefferson and Columbia so that’s very close to home for me. It’s very troubling, and it fuels me to continue the work that I am doing – especially when it’s a young life taken from us. And it hits different,” Lightfoot said.

Sunday night, the Bonilla family prayed over Anthony’s hospital bed until he took his last breath. They have a keepsake of Anthony’s they keep close to their heart.

“This is my son’s chain,” Johnny Bonilla said. “This is the only thing I have of my son, but I have his spirit with me, but I’m asking Rochester Police officers, please find justice for my son. That’s all we ask for. We are not going to retaliate. We [are] going to do what we let ya’ll do and try to find justice for my son. Please! I beg you,” he said.

Of the four homicides in that neighborhood this year, RPD has solved one. The Bonilla family believes Anthony’s murder will be solved.  Anyone with information should call 911.