Police: Trooper fired shot as Monroe Ave. suspect tried to get K9 off of him
Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - State Police said a trooper fired his gun during a foot chase with a driver in a car pursuit that shut down Monroe Avenue near Goodman Street for about five hours.
The investigation was centered in the area of Monroe Avenue and Woodlawn Street.
According to State Police, Rochester Police attempted to stop a vehicle on Joseph Avenue in Rochester around 9:55 p.m. The vehicle had no headlights on and was speeding, according to police.
The car did not stop and police, who did not chase the vehicle, broadcast the car's license plate number and location.
A State Police vehicle in the area spotted the car on Monroe Avenue near Woodlawn Street and followed it. A chase ensued for less than three miles, at no point did the suspect drive above 60mph. New York State Police Major Rick Allen said there are five New York State Police troopers actively working G.I.V.E. detail in the City of Rochester at any given time.
Police say the driver jumped out of the car and ran down Woodlawn Street. Two troopers chased after the suspect with a K9. The K9 took down the suspect and bit him in the leg.
At this point, police say the suspect hit the dog to try to get the dog off of him, and would not take his hand out of his pocket. As a result, a trooper who had his weapon drawn fired one shot.
The bullet hit a building at 58 Woodlawn St. and became lodged in the outer siding. The suspect was not hit.
State Police said they have "not determined the cause of discharge."
Chrissy Miller and her four-year-old son were in the home that the bullet struck.
"All I heard was, 'Freeze,' and then a shot was fired," said Miller.
Miller said Thursday she had just gotten home when she heard the end of the chase.
"I have my baby, so of course it was really scary for the both of us," said Miller. "They did a good job, and I greatly appreciate that, because it could have been worse."
"It could have been an accidental discharge. It could have been he saw something that - like I said, the guy's hand was in his pocket," Major Allen said. "He may have seen something, thought he was coming out with something in his hand. With the split-second decisions in some of these cases, it's tough right now for me to say what he did or didn't see."
The suspect, who was later identified as 39-year-old Jerry Ferguson, was taken into custody and taken to Strong Memorial Hospital to be treated for dog bites and a head injury.
Ferguson was charged with unlawful fleeing police, resisting arrest, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and several other traffic violations.
The trooper who fired the shot is not being identified by State Police; however police say the trooper is a "veteran" male trooper with more than ten years of experience.
New York State Police have launched both a criminal and internal investigation in relation to the shooting.
State Police initially said Ferguson is currently on probation, but later corrected that. Ferguson was on parole for a prior burglary conviction, but that supervision ended in 2015.