U.S. Attorney: Bloods in Rochester last summer, gang war led to murder of Officer Mazurkiewicz
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Working hand in hand with state and federal officials, U.S. attorney for Western New York Trini Ross is assuring community safety heading into the summer.
“We are here to make sure that the citizens of the greater Rochester area know that we are partnering together. We have been. We will continue. We have a strategy. We change the strategy as needed to ensure that they have the opportunity to enjoy their lives without fear of harm,” Ross said.
But during Wednesday’s press conference, remarks made by assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Gregory revealed something we’ve never heard before.
“We haven’t normally seen Bloods here in the city of Rochester. I’ve been doing this for 29 years and it’s the first verified group of Bloods that we saw here in the City of Rochester,” Gregory said.
A feud between the Bloods and a rival gang last year led to arsons, drive-by shootings and murders.
“They ran drug trafficking houses on the east side of the city of Rochester. they were well armed, well equipped, to defend their property, their proceeds and their product,” Gregory said.
When Rochester Police Department clamped down on the violence, they assigned two officers to watch the rivals of the “Bloods.”
Those officers were Tony Mazurkiewicz and Sino Seng.
On July 21, police say Officer Mazurkiewicz was murdered by a hitman from Boston named Kelvin Vickers.
Officer Seng was shot and survived. Vickers’ trial starts in September.
“Roc the Peace” founder and director Sirena Cotton said the presence of gangs in Rochester doesn’t come as a surprise.
“I mean, I don’t think it’s new that they’re here. They’ve always been here. That’s nothing new,” Cotton said.
Her organization is doing everything possible to curb the violence.
“We have to get them while they are young. We start at age 5. the younger the better. because the younger they are, they are like sponges — whatever they hear or see. they are going to do it,” Cotton said.