SLIDESHOW: Family photos of retired RPD officer William Booker who was murdered
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The family of William Booker, a retired Rochester police officer who was fatally shot on Sunday, shared photos of their time together with their loved one.
You can see the photos in this slideshow.
About the murder of William Booker
Booker, who served with the Rochester Police Department for 21 years, was found with a lower body gunshot wound after he crashed into a parked car on September 25.
RPD officers found Booker at around 2 a.m. at the crash on Jefferson Ave. near Iceland Park. It’s unclear if he was shot before or after the crash. He was rushed to Strong Hospital, where he died shortly after he arrived.
Booker was the father to a five-year-old girl. He spent almost 10 years as a School Resource Officer at Franklin High School, focused on steering youth away from violence. He retired from the department in 2017 and was 50 years old when he was fatally shot, driving in the direction of his home.
In a statement, Booker’s family called him “a beloved father, son, brother, cousin, and friend.” He was shot while he was alone in his car, driving in the direction of his home.
“He was a great support for those kids. An awesome guy and truly going to be missed,” said Wanda Ridgeway.
Ridgeway works at the county’s crime victims resource center. She also knew Booker when he was the RPD’s officer inside Franklin High School, where her children attended.
“He was what we needed in the schools during that time,” she said. “He would call me if my children were out of line or if they needed support.”
In a Tweet Monday, Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said he recruited Booker to RPD from the Marine Corps and called him “a good man” and a ‘noble servant.”
Former RPD Chief La’Ron Singletary tweeted Booker was a “friend, brother, a father and family.”
News10NBC watched the security video of the crash that Booker was invovled in. We’re not showing the video because of the potential impact on the police investigation. But earlier Monday, we did share part of it with Ridgeway.
“We’re not sure what precipitated the crash,” I said to Ridgeway showing her the video on my phone. “There’s the car. There’s his car. And then it’s after this what we believe the shooting happened.”
“Oh God,” she said. “Whatever happened, he shouldn’t have been shot down on the streets. I just hope they get the right answers and the right person who did this.”
The murder happened at Jefferson Avenue and Iceland Park. It’s two miles from Strong Hospital, which is where Booker died.
In the family’s statement, they called Booker a man of faith, and “we pray that this horrible tragedy and the other senseless homicides that have occurred in Rochester will usher in a much-needed change.”
“You mentioned you’re tired,” I said to Ridgeway. “What are you tired of?”
“I’m tired of all the violence. I’m tired of all the shootings. I’m tired of all the guns and where they’re coming from,” she said. “We’ve lost way too many people this year and I’m tired. I’m tired.”
Below you can find statements made regarding the shooting death of retired RPD Officer Booker.
Sister of Officer Booker:
It is with heavy hearts that we, the family of William Keith Booker, confirm that he was murdered on the morning of September 25, 2022. A beloved father, son, brother, cousin, and friend, Booker served Rochester proudly for 20-plus years as a police officer and beyond that, as a man of faith.
Thank you to the Rochester Police Department and City of Rochester for leading the investigation. We have complete confidence that justice will be served.
We would also like to reiterate that Booker was a man of faith. So even as we seek justice, we pray that this horrible tragedy and the other senseless homicides that have occurred in Rochester will usher in a much-needed change.
Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
Luke 17:33 NKJV
Mayor Malik D. Evans:
My heart is broken for the family and friends of retired Rochester Police Officer William Booker and I ask all of Rochester to join me in prayer or a moment of thought as they mourn this loss. That a man who dedicated his professional career to bringing peace and justice to the streets and schools of Rochester has himself fallen victim of that violence in his retirement is a tragedy and yet another reminder that our entire community must join in the effort to end this violence.
I urge anyone who has any information on this shooting to contact the Rochester Police Department to provide information that can assist the investigation and bring the killer or killers to justice. The Major Crimes Unit is conducting the investigation and is asking anybody with information to call 911, the Major Crimes Unit at 428-7157, Crime Stoppers at 423-9300, or email MajorCrimes@cityofrochester.gov.
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello:
I am shocked and saddened by the death of retired Rochester Police Officer William Booker. During his 21-year career, he was an integral part of the RPD family and served for more than a decade as a steady presence at the City School District’s Franklin campus. I send my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. His tragic death is not just a loss for them, but a loss for us all.
Record homicides and gun violence are terrorizing innocent citizens of this community. This is a crisis and it will take our entire community working together to bring this outbreak to an end.
Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carmine Peluso:
We are extremely saddened at the tragic passing of Officer Booker and extend our condolences to his family. He was a School Resource Officer at Franklin High School and developed strong relationships with our students and staff while he was there. He will be missed.