This one isn’t quite as bad as the last mass shooting to barely create a ripple in the mainstream media and it didn’t take place in DC, but it’s still pretty bad. Our story from early yesterday morning takes place in Rochester, New York. It’s a city that rarely showed up in the national news until they had their own “Abolish the Police” movement spring up in the wake of Daniel Prude’s death. Now, however, they’re making news of a different kind. Two people were killed and another 14 gunned down at a massive private party shortly after midnight yesterday. Details remain sketchy, but from what we know thus far, this is an all too familiar scene. (ABC News)
There are two people dead and at least 14 others injured following a mass shooting at a backyard party in Rochester, New York, overnight, according to the Rochester Police Department.
The shooting took place on Pennsylvania Avenue around 12:25 a.m. ET, according to authorities.
This is “truly a tragedy of epic proportions,” Rochester interim Police Chief Mark Simmons said during a press conference early Saturday morning. “Sixteen victims is unheard of.”
The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle fleshed out a few more details later in the day. The two people who died were identified as Jaquayla Young and Jarvis Alexander. They were both high school graduates of the class of 2019 so they were still very young. The other victims mostly ranged in age from their mid-teens to late twenties.
According to interviews with some witnesses, this wasn’t some sort of ambush by outsiders attacking the party. And argument allegedly broke out, with sides quickly being taken. Multiple people produced weapons and began firing. In case you’re wondering what sort of party attracts a large number of teenagers and young adults who just happen to show up at a back-yard party packing handguns, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.
This was another incident of gang violence taking place when a party grows too large and disparate groups of people begin showing up. One witness described the original party as being much smaller, but two other parties in the same neighborhood migrated over to this one, swelling the attendance to nearly 200. And that’s when the trouble began. As too often happens in such cases, the police don’t have any suspects identified. With that many people in attendance, you’d think somebody would have recognized them, wouldn’t you?
The reaction from some members of the community was also in keeping with the theme of 2020. An anti-cop protest organization known as Free The People Roc put out a statement in response to the bloodshed. Care to guess who they blamed?
“All of us deserve to live violence-free lives, but that’s impossible when people lack stable housing, fully funded schools, and well-paying jobs. It’s impossible when we invest more in police from the suburbs than the youth in our own neighborhoods. This is a wake up call to radically shift our priorities and invest in the people of this city.”
Yep. Now they’re blaming gang violence on a failure to defund the police and channel the PD’s budget into “investing in the people,” whatever that means.
So, in the end, this didn’t seem to have anything to do with the protests surrounding the death of Daniel Prude. Rochester has now racked up more shootings with multiple victims than it did over the entire year of 2019 and there are several months to go. This was just another tragic episode in a city that can’t get its gang violence problem under control. And until they do, this is going to keep happening.
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