ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A Rochester police officer was fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire during a pursuit, the first member of the city’s police force to be killed in the line of duty since 1959, officials said Thursday.
Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli identified the slain officer as Daryl Pierson, 32, an eight-year veteran of the force. He is survived by his wife and two young children.
Pierson was shot just before 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in a shootout with a suspect during a chase.
Ciminelli said the suspect was wounded in the gunfight with officer Michael Dipaola, who apprehended him. A bystander has injuries that aren’t life-threatening.
Pierson, an Army National Guard veteran who served in Afghanistan, was taken to Rochester General Hospital, where he died. The others were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital. The condition of the suspect wasn’t initially available.
“It is with a sad and heavy heart that I come before you to announce that tonight we lost one of our own,” Ciminelli said at an early morning news conference. “A police officer who gave his life in the line of duty, who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the people of Rochester.
Ciminelli said there are no other suspects and an investigation was continuing. More information was expected to be released later Thursday.
Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren asked the community to keep the officer’s family in their prayers.
“Words simply cannot express the sense of sorrow and deep loss that we feel at this moment,” Warren said. “A family has lost a loved one. The men and women of our police department have lost a family member and a friend. And we the people of Rochester have lost someone, who like every other RPD officer, put their life on the line day after day, for us.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said flags on state government buildings will be flown at half-staff on Friday in honor of Pierson.
Before the early-morning news conference, dozens of police officers met with the mayor and police chief at Rochester’s public safety building, some reportedly in tears. Flags there were already at half-staff.
Associated Press writer John Kekis contributed to this report from Albany.