Local business owner sad, but not surprised that violence coming closer to his front door

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Rochester’s latest homicide is being felt by many in the Beechwood section of the city. Police identify the shooting victim as 29-year-old Earl Thomas. They say he was shot by 23-year-old Robert Broomfield, as they were arguing at the Sunoco gas station on Culver Road.

News10NBC talked to one business owner who lives just down the street from the scene of the shooting.

Most people we also talked to Saturday afternoon say, although Beechwood is a relatively quiet part of the city, they’re not surprised to see this type of gun violence in their neighborhood.

“Once I seen that yellow tape come up I knew that something was really amiss,” said Wade Davis, owner of Wade’s Barber Shop.

Although he didn’t hear the shooting when it happened, he saw the response a few minutes later.

“I just seen a lot of police cars, and they were coming, and they were zooming up,” said Davis.

Two men identified by police as Earl Thomas, and Robert Broomfield, got into an argument at the Sunoco gas station, just over a full city block away from his barber shop on Culver Road.

“I did call over there, because I know one of my client’s wife works in there, and I just wanted to check to make sure she’s alright,” said Davis.

Police say Broomfield shot Thomas multiple times. Thomas was taken by private car to Rochester General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Broomfield was arrested shortly thereafter. Davis says he feels bad hearing the news of another gun related homicide in the city. The 6th so far this year.

“I know that the argument couldn’t have been about anything. These guys didn’t even know each other from what I’ve been told, and it was a slight altercation that happened in the store,” said Davis.

He goes on to say this isn’t the first time a serious crime has happened in the neighborhood.

“We’d been here for 14 years now, and it can happen anywhere. We’re not safe anywhere. You know I don’t care if it’s in Henrietta, where I grew up. I don’t care if it’s in Pittsford. It can happen anywhere, and we’re kind of getting used to it now,” said Davis.

He does admit he’s a bit concerned as he says violent crimes in the city are getting a bit out of hand.

“As a business owner, I might be a little alarmed because I don’t want my clients to feel like they can’t be safe here. They can’t come here, and can’t be safe, or things of that nature,” said Davis.

Robert Broomfield has been charged with murder in the 2nd Degree, and 2nd Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon. He is expected to be arraigned at Rochester City Court Sunday morning.