Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - The suspect in two separate shootings that led to a massive police chase in Rochester on Wednesday morning is dead. During that chase, the suspect fired out the windows of the U-haul vehicle he was driving. He also drove directly at a sheriff's deputy.
"The suspect was driving down the road, coming at the deputy and the deputy took defensive action and returned fire," said Chief Deputy Michael Fowler of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
"I heard gunshots and saw a lot of commotion, people scrambling around," said witness Eric Kerr.
Rochester Police confirmed that the suspect has died after being shot, but did not say whether the suspect had been shot by police or the gunshot was self inflicted. He has been identified as Terrell Blake of Rochester.
The investigation began they were called to Post Avenue near Arnett Boulevard around 9:40 a.m. for the report of shots fired.
When officers arrived on scene, they found a man who had been shot. The man, who was conscious, was taken to the hospital. A second victim, a woman, was dead found inside a house on Post Avenue, according to police. No names have been released. Rochester Police Deputy Chief La'Ron Singletary said the woman is believed to be the ex-girlfriend of the suspect.
Police allege the suspect then moved on to the neighborhood near School 15 shooting another male identified as his son. "This was a dangerous incident. This person clearly had a mission and what that mission was we are trying to determine," said Singletary. "He said the man was targeting family members.
"We believe the suspect had the intention of killing many more people than he did," said Mayor Lovely Warren. Police say Blake threatened to kill every member of his family.
The Rochester City School District briefly placed all of its schools on lock out as a result of the investigation. "I left my car in the middle of the street and just try to run into the school to get to the kids," said Lakaya Sinclair, a parent who received notification from school officials.
The vehicle driven by the suspect was described as a UHaul van. 13WHAM has learned he rented the vehicle this morning. Police said based on the description of the vehicle given by witnesses at both shooting scenes, they believed the two shootings were related.
According to Rochester Police, officers spotted the suspected UHaul van somewhere off Emerson Street a short time later. This led them on a chase along Lyell Avenue and eventually toward North Goodman Street.
The UHaul van was pursued by multiple police agencies, including New York State Police, Rochester Police and Irondequoit Police, in the area around North Goodman Street near Bay Street. During the pursuit down Forester Street, Deputy Chief Singletary said the suspect began shooting at police. Police then returned fire, with multiple officers discharging their weapons.
Police moved in with a helicopter and more reinforcements.
The chase ended on Frances Street near Goodman. Police say the suspect crashed the van.
"The vehicle ended up crashing into some other vehicles. Shots were exchanged and the suspect suffered a fatal gunshot wound," said Chief Deputy Fowler.
In spite of the number of rounds fired, there were no injuries to officers or civilians. "Officers put themselves at risk to do what they had to do," said Chief Deputy Fowler.
Marion James came across the scene while picking up her grandson at School 33. "I am really truly blessed that the police have done what they have done to try to get this person," she said.