Business owners in East End react to Sunday’s homicide

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Local business owners said they’re worried about the future of the East Ave bar district, following a murder on Memorial Day. The deadly shooting happened at Flour City Station, just as an event was wrapping up.

Police said 41-year-old Kimanhi Hinds was shot and killed, as an event was wrapping up around 2 a.m. A security worker was also shot and injured, but is recovering.

“It was very sad, you know, when we heard about it,” said Zach Wheeler, owner of Have Hope Tattoo, who said this neighborhood has had a lot of activity lately.

His concerns lie mostly at night.

“We’re noticing higher levels of activity as far as larger groups of people, a little bit more rowdiness,” he said. “I mean there’s been a few robberies, carjackings, stuff like that.”

They’ll be moving into a larger space soon. The reason, not entirely relating to safety, but Wheeler said it’s a relief.

Monday’s homicide comes just a few months after another homicide in the same area. On January 23, 25 year-old Michael Mathis was found shot multiple times, in a parking lot on East Ave and North Union Street.

“We’d love to see more police presence,” said Michael O’Leary, owner of Temple Bar and Grille. “We understand that they’re doing the best they possibly can right now.”

O’Leary said part of staying safe is being proactive.

“We wand and or pat down everybody, which a lot of people are uncomfortable with,” he said. “But, you know, we have a couple people walk away because they don’t want to be wanded, and I’m alright with that.”

It’s these changes, that leave him feeling hopeful, for better days.

Eriketa Cost: What does that say about the East Ave neighborhood over time, that you’re having to implement these policies in the first place?

Michael O’Leary, owner of Temple Bar and Grille: “Everywhere in downtown has changed, its just the reality. I think we can either ignore it, or we can be proactive.”

Rochester Police tell me they have a central section to patrol the downtown area, and a bar detail for East and Alexander.

News10NBC also tried to locate an East Avenue business association, but business owners tell me they haven’t heard of anyone running it, for years.

As for the owner of Flour City Station, they are not speaking publicly until the investigation is complete.

President of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce Bob Duffy released the following statement:

“At Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, the safety and well-being of
our community and its businesses are of paramount importance. We were deeply
saddened to hear about the recent tragic incident that occurred at Flour City
Station in the East End.

We are committed to supporting a safe and thriving environment for all
businesses across the Greater Rochester region, and understand that incidents
like this can leave businesses feeling shaken and concerned. We recently hosted
a forum on public safety for our members with elected leaders and public safety
officials, including Mayor Malik Evans, and part of that discussion was the
importance of sharing feedback on a regular cadence. We encourage any
businesses in the East End or elsewhere in the region to reach out to us if
they have safety concerns or require assistance. We are here to connect them
with resources, guidance, and support to address their needs.

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce remains dedicated to fostering a
safe and prosperous business community throughout our region, and will continue
to work with our members, local organizations, and authorities to promote
safety and address any concerns that arise. Together, we can create an
environment where businesses can thrive and residents and visitors can feel

If you have any further questions or require additional information,
please do not hesitate to reach out to us.”