One dead, multiple shot in Rochester. Suspect in custody after police chase ends in hail of gunfire
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A gunman targeted family members across this city Wednesday, killing one before leading police on a high-speed chase and exchanging gunfire with officers, officials said.
Terrell Blake, 39, of Rochester also died in the series of shootings after he crashed into another vehicle at about 11:30 a.m. EDT and ended up in a driveway. Police identified him as the shooter.
“Shots were exchanged and the suspect was fatally struck,” Deputy Police Chief LaRon Singletary said.
All city schools were on lockout during the pursuit, which lasted about an hour.
“Today is the kind of day that breaks your heart,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said. “Our officers literally put themselves in the line of fire today to protect their community.”
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The violence began when Blake shot two people at around 9:40 a.m. at a home, killing a 28-year-old woman and critically injuring a 25-year-old man.
Blake was the woman’s former romantic partner, and the other victim was her current partner, Rochester Police Chief Mark Simmons said. Blake and the woman, whose name was not released, have a child together.
Blake then drove to the city’s east side and shot a man in his 20s at about 10:20 a.m., police said. That victim, whose injuries were not life threatening, was Blake’s son.
He was able to identify his father as the shooter, police said.
The son ran onto the nearby grounds of School 25, where he collapsed. The incident prompted the school to go into a lockdown.
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Witnesses from both scenes described a similar vehicle, a white U-Haul van from Lake Avenue Moving and Storage with Arizona license plates. Law enforcement patrols spotted the van around 11:15 a.m. and followed the suspect as he zigzagged back toward the east side of this upstate New York city of about 210,000 people.
Blake fired at a Monroe County sheriff’s deputy on foot, Chief Deputy Michael Fowler said. That deputy and other officers returned fire and followed Blake until he crashed into another vehicle.
Blake was shot because he didn’t comply with officers’ demands, Simmons said. The suspect was still partly in the vehicle he had been driving.
Other members of Blake’s family lived in the house where he ended up, Simmons said.
“He circled back to that area intending to do more harm to family members,” the police chief said.
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Because that shooting took place around the corner from School 25 and the scene of an earlier shooting, members of the media witnessed the crossfire up close, some just yards away from the van that Blake had been driving.
No officers were injured though bullets struck at least one patrol car. Authorities could not say how many shots were fired or how many officers were involved.
“Multiple officers fired shots,” Fowler said “We’re working to determine who fired, where they were, and why they fired. This is going to be a long and complex investigation.”
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