City works to prevent gun violence by shutting down illegal gatherings

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Several city leaders joined Mayor Malik Evans today to update the community on their violence prevention efforts. Ending gun violence is a top priority in the city as the number of shootings and homicides continue to rise. Evans says so far this year there have been 60 homicides, 51 of them involved a firearm, and each gun was illegal.

The 60th homicide happened Thursday night. Police say a man in his 40’s was shot, and killed on Mazda Terrace. Right now the city is targeting large unsanctioned gatherings, as well as personal deadly disputes.

[anvplayer video=”5136944″ station=”998131″]

“The toxic mix of these illegal gatherings, and people who cannot talk out their problems has led to this deadly rage of what we’ve seen of individuals of being killed, and we’re not going to tolerate that in our city,” said Evans.

He also talked about extending the State of Emergency on Gun Violence in the city for another month. A tool he says has gotten more guns, and known violent offenders off the streets. He also says 90-percent deadly shootings involves personal disputes.

“Family members, friends who know each other they escalate, they pull out a gun and decide to shoot each other. Those are things we need to work on as a community as it relates to conflict resolutions,” said Evans.

Rochester Police Chief David Smith says his ROC Initiative which brings local, state, and federal agencies into an unprecedented partnership is yielding positive results. 21 firearms have been recovered recently. 41 violent offenders arrested for firearms related offences, and 25 of those arrested have been referred to federal prosecution.

“This initiative consists of laser focused approach to specific offenders who are bringing harm to our community. Again it is intelligence driven. It is data driven, and it’s going after known violent offenders,” said Smith.

He went on to say to date, 591 illegal guns have been recovered so far in total. Evans says 57 of those taken off the streets in just the past 2 weeks.

“Think about that. That is staggering. That is a staggering number of illegal guns that have been taken off the streets, and it will continue to focus on taking those illegal guns,” said Evans.

We asked Evans, if the State of Emergency is expired next month will we lose the help of US Marshal’s, and he simply said “no.” They will continue to work these streets looking for the known offenders.

Original story — Mayor Malik Evans said the city is working to prevent gun violence by shutting down illegal gatherings and through collaborations with local and federal law enforcement.

Mayor Evans was one of the city officials who were at the Friday afternoon conference at City Hall to prevent, intervene, and suppress gun violence. Other officials included Rochester Police Department Chief David Smith, Corporation Counsel Linda Kingsley, Violence Prevention Advisor Victor Saunders, and Department of Recreation and Human Services Commissioner Dr. Shirley Green.

[anvplayer video=”5136913″ station=”998131″]

Evans said many shootings have happened during or after illegal gatherings, such as parties after hours at parks or outside of recreation centers. Some of these parties have served liquor without a license.

Shootings that happened during or after gatherings include the September 2 shooting at Ontario Beach Park and the July 5 shooting outside the Trenton and Pamela Jackson Rec Center. Evans asked anyone who sees an unsanctioned party to call 311.

Evans said that 90% of shootings in Rochester happened after personal feuds. He said conflict resolution can help to prevent shootings.

RPD Cheif David Smith said the city is continuing the Rescue Our City (ROC) initiative, a program to target illegal guns that’s a collaboration between city, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The program launched on June 15 and includes collaboration with the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Smith said that authorities have taken 591 illegal guns off the street this year, including two within the past day.

Evans said the city is extending its Gun Violence State of Emergency that started, which gives the mayor “broad powers to protect life and property.” The mayor also spoke about Pathways to Peace, a program to encourage nonviolent alternatives for youth who are involved in disputes, gangs, or drugs.

are resorting to violence to settle disputes or becoming involved in gangs and drugs. 

The conference comes after six people were shot on Wednesday night at four separate scenes, leaving one man dead. Mayor Evans spoke out the day after the shootings.

“This gun culture has to end in terms of individuals using illegal guns,” Evan said.

According to the RPD Open Data Portal, there have been 240 shootings in the city so far in 2022. Out of those shootings, 29 had multiple victims and 17.6% of victims died.