‘I watched somebody’s children ducking bullets’: Video shows shooting at Franklin HS

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Security camera video at Franklin Upper and Lower Schools captured the attempted shooting of a 16-year-old as he ran to the school. The video shows there were other students who had to cower outside the front door to avoid the bullets.

The video is from a camera above the front doors of Franklin. It shows two girls arrive and chat as they wait to be let in. Suddenly they jump towards the door. Then the 16-year-old target runs into view and then the shooter appears pointing his gun right at him. The video captures a muzzle blast. Somehow, none of the children were hit.

Brean: “Adam, have you seen video of the shooting?”

Adam Urbanksi, President of Rochester Teachers’ Union: “Yes.”

Brean: “And when you watch that, what impact does that have on you?”

Urbankski: “It’s frightening. I watched somebody’s children ducking bullets at the entrance to a school.”

Brean: “What are teachers telling you today?”

Urbanksi: “Teachers are telling me that if it can happen at the Franklin campus, it can happen at their school as well.”

Today, the superintendent of schools says he’s getting police at five high schools when schools open and close. He met with police and the mayor today to come up with a strategy.

Brean: “What is the strategy?”

Dr. Carmine Peluso, RCSD Superintendent: “So right now we have a response to what has happened yesterday. I think the LT strategy is to work with our community and the City. This is going to take a whole system approach to improving our city and improving the violence that we’re seeing in our city.”

The head of the school board traces the violence problem to 20 years ago when funding for youth programs was shifted to early childhood education.

Cynthia Elliott, Rochester School Board President: “We’ve got to get back to funding these youth programs and they’ve got to be done within the inner city.”

Urbanski wants police back in city high schools.

Urbanksi: “I think the board of education has a choice. They can either act now or they can wait until, God forbid, a tragedy happens.”

At the request of the Rochester School Board three years ago, the city cut the budget for police in schools.

At a news conference today, I asked the superintendent and school board president if they’re willing to bring them back.

Elliott, Rochester School Board President: “I’ll tell you that is not something the board is interested in and I’ll tell you why. What’s happened in the past, some of our schools have used police officers as counselors. We don’t want that to happen.”

Elliott said there were also incidents of police being physical with students. 

The superintendent said starting today, he’s putting police at five high schools when school starts and ends.

Brean: “Is that a start as far as you’re concerned?”

Urbanksi: “Yeah, I agree with the superintendent. What I’m saying is that there is more that can be done.”

For decades car crashes were the number one cause of death for children. Since 2020 it’s guns. Last year, 33 children, 16 and under, were shot in Rochester and three of them died. One of them, 12-year-old Juan Lopez, was a student Franklin.