Mayor Evans, colleagues react to deadly shooting of former RPD officer
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Mayor Malik Evans, alongside several other community leaders, are mourning the loss of retired RPD officer William Keith Booker. Officer Booker retired from the department five years ago and spent almost a decade as a school resource officer at RCSD.
“Not only did I know Keith Booker, I also knew his family, you know, especially his sisters,” Mayor Malik Evans said. “So my heart breaks for that.”
During his 21-year career, Booker was an essential part of the Rochester Police Department family and served for more than a decade as a steady presence, mentor and friend to students at the Rochester City School District.
“We are going to work obviously very hard, as we do with every homicide, to make sure that we bring the perpetrators to justice,” Mayor Evans said. “So often we were seeing too many people die unnecessarily and this hits hard because many of us knew Keith and we knew him from his work in the community, particularly in the schools.”
Booker was shot and killed on Jefferson Avenue early Sunday morning after his car crashed into a parked car on the side of the street.
“When children can’t walk to the corner store, when they can’t play in their front yard, when people can’t leave their house at night for fear of being victimized, have your car stolen, a carjacking, a shooting, and a robbery. I’m sorry, that’s not a quality of life anybody wants to have to endure day to day,” Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said.
Duffy was the Rochester Police Chief when Booker was an officer. He said the record of homicides and gun violence plaguing our community is a crisis and we all have to figure out a way to bring it to an end.
“There’s something going on here and I think we have to acknowledge and do our very best to stop and fix it,” Duffy said. “Just the people most impacted, are people that live in our poorest neighborhoods. They are afraid to leave their homes or walk, and it just has to stop.”
Booker now leaves behind his family and a community that loved him just as much.
“He was only 50 years old and to lose him so violently, he fought against violence, so to lose him to violence, hurts,” Evans said. “It hurts to the core. My heart goes out to his family, his friends and the larger communities.”
As of now, no one is in custody, police are urging you to call them if you know anything.