Veteran Rochester police officer killed, partner shot ‘in a cowardly ambush,’ officials say

(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) — A police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty on Thursday night in Rochester, New York, officials said.

Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, a 29-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department, was with his partner, Officer Sino Seng, an eight-year veteran, when they “were attacked in a cowardly ambush” on Bauman Street, according to Rochester Police Chief David Smith.

At least one male approached the officers and opened fire on them as they were conducting a detail at around 9:15 p.m. local time, according to Lt. Greg Bello of the Rochester Police Department.

Mazurkiewicz was shot at least once in the upper body, while Seng was shot at least once in the lower body, according to Smith, who said the pair “fell victim to the very violence in our community that we are trying to combat.”

Mazurkiewicz was rushed to Strong Hospital, where he was listed in threatening condition late Thursday. During a press conference the next morning, the police chief announced that, “despite heroic efforts,” Mazurkiewicz had died. The officer was a husband and father.

Seng was taken to Rochester General Hospital, where he was treated and released. He is “now recuperating from his injuries at home with his wife and children,” according to Smith.

During the attack, a female bystander was also struck by gunfire. She was treated for non-life threatening injuries, Smith added.

The police chief said a number of law enforcement agencies — local, state and federal — have responded to assist and are “being utilized to bring whomever is responsible for this heinous act to justice.”

“This is an ongoing investigation and updates will be provided as they become available,” Smith, who was visibly emotional, said at the press conference on Friday morning. “As we speak, the brave men and women of the Rochester Police Department are continuing to protect our community, despite this horrific and shocking loss to our family.”

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans, who also spoke at the press conference, called it a “sad day for our community.”

“I am angry and upset because all too often we are seeing over and over again blatant disregard for life,” Evans said, “be it an old woman on her porch or a 10-year-old girl, braiding her mother’s hair, and now an officer in the line of duty, working to keep our city safe.”

The deadly shooting happened just hours after the mayor declared a local state of emergency due to “a surge” in gun violence.

“The city and our partners in government will dedicate all possible resources to bring an immediate end to this violence and prevent it from expanding further,” Evans said at a press conference earlier Thursday. “We know these shootings are directly tied to a deadly cycle of disputes and retaliations and we will do all we can to disrupt these disputes before they reach critical mass.”

On Friday, the mayor urged anyone with information on the triple shooting to come forward.

“Now is your time to speak up,” he said. “It was Tony Mazurkiewicz, but it can be any of us in this room tomorrow. This is a clarion call for this community to speak up.”

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