Organizers of the 53rd Annual Rochester Puerto Rican Festival have called off today's scheduled parade after the violence that broke out last night on North Clinton Avenue. The festival will end tonight and not continue for the third day tomorrow. This follows a pair of shooting incidents early this morning on North Clinton Avenue that killed one person and left four others injured, one of them seriously.
Rochester Police Chief David Smith said in a news conference that the unrelated shooting incidents both started after a group of girls began fighting in the street on North Clinton about a block north of Upper Falls Boulevard. Shots were fired at North Clinton and Siebert Place, and more shots were fired at North Clinton and Scrantom Street. One of the five people injured is in grave condition and another died at the hospital. One of the injured is a 13-year-old girl. Two occupied cars were hit by bullets at North Clinton and Siebert Street, blowing out a window and narrowly missing one of the drivers. The crowds began to flee after the shooting incidents.
Police flooded the area with 47 cars, including units from Brighton and Irondequoit Police, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and New York State Police. Chief Smith says 15 officers and the mobile command unit will remain in the area through the day, and several hundred officers will be on North Clinton and surrounding streets to maintain calm tonight.
Rochester police believe a woman who went to Rochester General Hospital after being stabbed early this morning was not involved with that incident on North Clinton Avenue. The 24-year-old victim is being treated for lacerations and is expected to recover.
Mayor Malik Evans said multiple fights breaking out at 1:00 a.m. is totally unnecessary. He called on people to go home after events instead of hanging on the streets and to leave guns at home.