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Suspect, officers identified in RPD officer-involved shooting
Rochester, N.Y. - Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard said the shooting of a man on North St. near Merrimac St. Sunday night happened when that man was fleeing from police and in possession of a sawed-off shotgun.
In a news conference late Monday morning, Sheppard said two Rochester Police Department (RPD) officers, Cody Goodfriend, 26, and Michael Collins, 34, both three-year veterans on the force, were asked by a Bay Street store employee to deal with two men who were loitering outside the store around 8 p.m. Sunday.
"If you know the area it's a location where we've had a number of firearm incidents we've had a number of daily incidents relative to drug sales, basically he had wanted the officers to address that issue," explained Chief Sheppard.
That prompted the officers to stop and frisk both men and one officer found a gun in the waistband of one of those men.
That man, Tyshawn Johnson, 20, of Rochester, then broke free from the officer and ran across Portland Avenue and down Merrimac Street according to Chief Sheppard.
"As the officers pursued on foot Tyshawn Johnson displayed the gun and turned towards the officers and continued running," Chief Sheppard explained. "Officer Goodfriend discharged one round at Tyshawn Johnson striking him once in the upper torso."
Chief Sheppard explained that he was told Johnson was struck in the back near or just above the buttocks. Johnson is at Strong Memorial Hospital in guarded condition. He is also currently facing a charge of Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd Degree. That felony charge carries it with a possible maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
The gun Johnson displayed was a .410 gauge sawed-off shotgun according to Chief Sheppard.
"It's a very small gauge however it was sawed down to the size of a handgun," explained Sheppard. "That is how well it was meant to be concealed and it wasn't used for sporting."
Locust Club Police Union President Mike Mazzeo tells 13WHAM News that his officers deal with dangerous situations like this on a daily and nightly basis. While an internal investigation is still ongoing Mazzeo said he believes this to be a justified shooting.
In February 13WHAM New followed Officer Goodfriend while he was on patrol in the very same neighborhood where Sunday night's shooting took place. At the time Officer Goodfriend and other officers were routinely handing out stuffed animals and toys to children they came into contact with while on patrol.
"My goal is have a long term relationship with these kids and time will tell how we do with that," Officer Goodfriend told 13WHAM News at the time.
Neither officer involved in Sunday night's incident was injured.