Rochester police officers fatally shot a man early Friday after seeing him brandish a handgun inside a car they had approached as part of an investigation into reported gunfire, authorities said.
The man, who police did not identify, was a passenger in the back seat of a vehicle officers spotted at around 4:30 a.m. after it was seen on cameras leaving a nearby location where a gunfire-detection system had activated.
Officers approached the vehicle to speak with the men inside, Rochester Interim Chief of Police Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan said at a news conference. One of the men refused to get out of the vehicle, police said.
“A few minutes after that officers saw a male in the car brandishing a handgun,” Herriott-Sullivan said. “The officers fired shots. There were at least nine. I’m not exactly sure on the exact number. Again, this is very preliminary.”
She said it was too early in the investigation to say exactly how many shots were fired and by whom. It was not clear if the man who was killed fired any shots. The man, described as being in his 20s, died at the scene. Another man in the car was unharmed.
The officers were uninjured.
The state attorney general’s office said it opened an investigation, which is now standard in New York when civilians die at the hands of police. Herriott-Sullivan said police were cooperating with the investigation and hoped to release redacted body camera footage soon.
Rochester police have been under scrutiny in recent months over the March 2020 death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who perished after officers put a mesh hood over his head and held him to the ground until he stopped breathing.
A grand jury ultimately rejected criminally negligent homicide charges against three officers.