Police ask for public’s help in ‘life-altering’ Fourth of July double shooting

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Police are asking for the public’s help solving a double shooting from the Fourth of July.

There were seven shootings reported that weekend, none fatal. 

More than 100 people at a party saw two people get shot.

News10NBC’s Hailie Higgins talked with police Thursday about the case.

Late into a Fourth of July party, more than 100 people were standing at Rauber and Widman streets. Around midnight, they watched more than 50 rounds get fired from multiple guns, seriously injuring two people. Two weeks later, police are still looking for who fired those guns.

“We do these time and time again, and I say, people ask ‘what do you need?’ We need the community support, we need cooperation, we need people to come forward,” says Police Chief David Smith.

Police are sifting through security footage and ballistic evidence as they try to piece together what turned a holiday barbeque into a gunfight.

“Ballistic evidence is great, but ballistic evidence doesn’t say whose hand that gun was in,” Lt. Greg Bello explains.

The first victim, a 25-year-old woman, has been discharged from the hospital and recovering. The second victim is a 44-year-old man.

“He’s going to be facing an uphill battle his entire life, related to these injuries,” says Bello. “It’s not something that he got a few stitches and he’s out. But this is something that this person, it’s going to affect them their entire life.”

Police said they’re looking to the public for help. But despite the number of witnesses that night — information is hard to come by.

“It happens all the time. Folks are literally — they feel prisoners in their house,” says Smith. “They don’t want to some sit out on the porch at night. They don’t want to be out in their yards.”

The area’s councilmember, Michael Patterson, said he’s not surprised by the silence.

“It’s not as though people in the neighborhood don’t care, they certainly do care,” says Patterson. “But they have a duty and a responsibility to worry about themselves too, and that’s what they’re gonna do.”

Patterson and police said there are several ways to share information anonymously, like by calling 311. They can also use the Report It app.

“You don’t need to give your name, your address, any of that that,” Patterson says.

Captain Sam Lucyshyn patrols the North Clinton neighborhood. He says his team often struggles to find witnesses.

Hailie Higgins, News10NBC: “Do you think that in this case, people aren’t coming forward because they’re intimidated?”

Captain Sam Lucyshyn, RPD: “It could be fear of retaliation. It could be the stigma of someone who comes running to the police. It could be that they know the shooter. There’s lots of different reasons. But there are many people out there who do know what happened.”

Higgins tried to speak with several neighbors who live around the site, including one whose house got struck by gunfire. They all declined.

People can call the non-emergency tip line at 311 to report anonymously. They can also use the Report It app to anonymously share information with police. The third party app helps ensure anonymity for those looking to share information. Tips can be reported by texting “Rochester” to 63975. The app can also be downloaded by texting “reportit” to 63975.

To begin a crime-tip report text ‘Rochester’ to 63975. To download the app, text ‘reportit’ to the 63975.

Police are asking anyone with information or video to reach out to them.