Jacob Linton, Lauren Leone, Evan Bourtis, & Bonnie Marrocco
Updated: August 05, 2022 08:58 AM
Created: July 21, 2022 09:43 PM
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 Rochester police officers, Tony Mazurkiewicz and Sino Seng, were shot in the line of duty during an ambush near Bauman Street on July 21.
Officer Mazurkiewicz died from his injuries, leaving behind four children, three grandchildren, and his wife Lynn. His funeral was held on August 1 at the Blue Cross Arena. Officer Seng is recovering from his injuries and attended the funeral in a wheelchair.
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.
Vickers, 21 of Massachusetts, was charged with the murder of Mazurkiewicz and the shooting of Seng and Walker. RPD officers said they found Vickers shortly after the ambush hiding in the second-floor crawl space of an abandoned house and arrested him. 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 was indicted on eight charges, the most severe being aggravated murder, which carries a sentence of life without parole if convicted. He is being held in Monroe County Jail without bail. District Attorney Sandra Doorley announced the grand jury's decision on the indictment on August 4.
Over 13 police agencies responded to the ambush after receiving calls for officers shot. Mazurkiewicz was in the driver's seat when he was shot in the torso. He was taken to Strong Hospital, where he died at around 11:30 p.m., about three hours after being shot.
Seng was shot in the leg and exited the car to return fire. He was hospitalized and later released. During the funeral, RPD Captain Ray Dearcop said that Seng acted heroically when, despite his injuries, he continued to fire at the suspect to protect the people around him. The attendees of the funeral gave Seng a standing ovation.
"Officer Seng, your heroic actions likely prevented further injuries to officers and citizens who were at the scene. You, sir, are a hero," Dearcop said.
Mazurkiewicz, who was 54, served the RPD for 29 years. 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. The last RPD officer killed was Daryl Pierson back in 2014.
Hundreds of @monroesheriffny deputies led by @Sheriff_Baxter make their way to the Blue Cross Arena for the procession and memorial service for fallen @RochesterNYPD officer Tony Mazurkiewicz. @news10nbc pic.twitter.com/7J8uz97Qwd— Jennifer Lewke (@WHEC_JLewke) August 1, 2022
Family members, friends, fellow officers, and faith leaders gave eulogies at the funeral service for Mazurkeiwicz. Bryce, the daughter of Mazurkiewicz, spoke about traveling to softball tournaments and trying new restaurants with her father.
"I've never imagined a world where he won't see me graduate college, start my dream job at Strong, or walk me down the aisle. ...I really can't fathom that this is our reality," Bryce said.
Brooks, also a daughter of Mazurkiewicz, said her children will miss spending time with their grandfather.
"Truly, the worst part of this for me is that my three little girls lost their grilled-cheese-making nap partner, swing pushing, tree climbing, Tuesday Papa care provider, nickname-calling Papa," Brooks said.
Born in Amsterdam, NY, Mazurkeiwicz graduated from SUNY Brockport. He then went on to work for the Monroe County Sheriff’s department before starting at the RPD in 1993. Officer Mazurkiewicz will be awarded the Rochester RPD's highest honors, the Medal of Valor and the Purple Heart, for his sacrifice.
Community members in Mazurkeiwicz's hometown, Perinton, honored his service by displaying blue lights on their phones as the funeral procession passed by. Mazurkeiwicz's body was taken from Richard H. Keenan Funeral Home in Egypt, where calling hours were, to the Public Saftey Building.
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.”
The partner of fallen @RochesterNYPD Officer Tony Mazurkiewicz, Officer Sino Seng who was shot and wounded during the shooting, arrives at PSB to pay his final respects. @news10nbc pic.twitter.com/DiUzIz1r4h— Jennifer Lewke (@WHEC_JLewke) August 1, 2022
Vickers's first court appearance was on July 23 in Rochester City Court. 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
A walk on Saturday that starts at Greece Ridge Mall will honor the memory of fallen RPD Officer Tony Mazurkiewicz and raise money for his family. The walk starts at 9:15 a.m. and is organized by Operation Patriot Foundation, an upstate New York organization that organizes events to honor first responders. You can register starting at 8 a.m. at the mall's food court.
Other local groups have started fundraisers to honor Officer Tony Mazurkiewicz and Officer Sino Seng, who was injured in the July 21 ambush that killed Mazurkiewicz.
The Rochester Police Foundation has set up a donations page for the children of Officer Tony Mazurkiewicz and to help Officer Sino Seng recover from his injuries.
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.
All branches of Canandaigua National Bank are also accepting donations for the family of Officer Mazurkiewicz.
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.
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