Rochester teenager killed, another injured in double shooting on Emerson St.
ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – A double shooting claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl and injured an 18-year-old on Saturday on Emerson Street near Sawdey Way in Rochester.
Officials said the 16-year-old victim – identified as Zahira Smith – died at the scene. The 18-year-old was shot in the lower body and hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
“I was on my porch right there and all of a sudden I saw a bullet go past me. I ran into the house and closed my door quickly because I was just standing there and it freaked me out. would have hit,” said Amanda Mangino, a resident of Emerson Street. “There were about 20 shots last night.”
Rochester police say the investigation so far revealed the victims were attending an invite-only birthday party being held at the Airbnb on Emerson Street.
Investigators said the first volley of shots was fired from the vacant lot on the north side of Emerson Street and the two victims did not appear to be the intended victims.
Area officers who initially heard the shots said they had been involved in a foot chase with individuals believed to have been engaged in return fire. Officers then apprehended 18-year-old Ameer Andrews and recovered a loaded handgun with an illegal bullet capacity.
Officers said Andrews was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of an ammunition feeder.
Andrews is due in Rochester City Court on Monday morning.
“Several shots were fired from a vacant lot across the street from 221 Emerson Street and several of the shots hit both victims,” Rochester police said.
There are no suspects in custody for Smith’s murder or the shooting of the 18-year-old victim.
An Airbnb spokesperson said the property was not rented through the company at the time.
“I’m really fed up because there’s too much going on since it’s an Airbnb. It was young kids shooting last night. Like teenagers and I’ve never seen this happen before “said Mangino.
Lydia Rivera, a member of the Neighborhood Association on Emerson Street, said that over the past few years landlords have worked together to keep drugs and crime out of the community and must now focus on guns .
“It really takes a community, the government can’t solve all of our problems, but they absolutely have to be there to provide us with the resources,” Rivera said. “Like I said, the main thing I think is we need to get our hands on our kids and talk to them.”
Zahira Smith’s family held a vigil outside the home where the shooting took place but asked that it be done in private.
Members of Pathways to Peace were sent to help grieving family and neighbors while emphasizing that their organization can help resolve conflicts before they turn violent.
“We just want to reassure the community at large that there is support,” said Anthony Hall, director of Pathways to Peace. “Our goal is to make sure there is no issue of retaliation and also to make sure people understand that this was a cowardly act and that this individual needs to be apprehended and out of the way. street.”
Rochester City School District Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small released the following statement regarding the passing of Smith, who was an RCSD student:
“Today we mourn the passing of one of our scholars from our district. I am devastated that young lives continue to end abruptly because of gun violence. We must come together as a community to protect our children from these senseless acts that take them away from us far too soon. Another bright future ended insanely. We send our deepest condolences to family and friends.“
Dr. Myers-Small also added that the district’s trauma, illness and bereavement team will be at the school tomorrow to help students and staff as they grapple with yet another grief.
Rochester Mayor Malik Evans shared the following statement during Monday’s shooting:
“This weekend, cities across the country continued to bear the brunt of increased gun violence. We also experienced this senseless violence here in Rochester.
In the past three days, seven people in our city have been shot dead. Two of these people lost their lives, including a teenager who was celebrating a friend’s birthday. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Zahira Smith, who was just 16 years old.
This violence is a deep-rooted problem that requires our entire community to come together to help solve it. I ask for your cooperation – speak up and share what you know to stem this deadly tide of violence.
I also ask people to lay down their arms – and step in to help others in their lives turn away from violence.
An investigation is currently underway. Anyone with further information is asked to call the Major Crimes Unit at (585) 428-7157, or Crime Stoppers at (585) 423-9300.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.