Teen sentenced to 20 yrs. in prison for shooting at RPD officer

    Moore pleaded guilty to shooting at a Rochester Police officer last summer was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday. RPD officers lined the hallways in support of Officer Kelly Phillips, the officer at whom Moore shot. (WHAM photo)

    Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - The teenager who pleaded guilty to shooting at a Rochester Police officer last summer was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday.

    Ernestaize Moore, now 17, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder 2nd back in July.

    Moore was indicted in March by a Monroe County grand jury on charges of attempted murder 2nd, criminal use of a firearm 1st, four counts of criminal possession of a weapon 2nd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd.

    Moore is accused of firing a Lorcin .380 pistol at Officer Kelly Phillips from 10 feet away on Santee Street near Bauer Street. After he was arrested, Moore waived his Miranda rights, and admitted to having the pistol and firing it toward the officer in an effort to keep himself from going to jail.

    “Officer Kelly Phillips’s dedication and extensive training as a police officer to serve and protect is the only reason that Ernestaize Moore is alive today,” said Assistant District Attorney Perry Duckles. “On the February night in the split second that Moore decided to point his gun at Officer Phillips, he nearly took the life of a Rochester Police Officer, a decision he will pay for over his next twenty years in prison

    Officer Phillips has been with the RPD for 16 years and grew up in the neighborhood where those shots were fired at her.

    After the sentencing Wednesday morning, Officer Phillips said she has experienced a wave of anger and sadness - but also relief and guilty. She remembered the moment when she encountered Moore and when her gut reaction put her on guard.

    Officer Phillips said she recognizes that her life was spared - but so was Moore's, because she never fired back at him.

    "I'm glad that my family and I can move on and start to heal," Phillips said. "We had all the support we've had up to now. It's time to move on with my life and I hope Mr. Moore's family can do so as well."

    Officer Phillips read a statement in court at the sentencing hearing; it can be seen in full below:

    Rochester Locust Club president Mike Mazzeo said moments like these define what it is to be a police officer.

    "There was no ability for her to not go after that individual who had a weapon and was in the neighborhood," Mazzeo said. "She put her life one the line to what was necessary for the community."

    At the sentencing Thursday morning, it was disclosed that Moore's gun jammed for an unknown reason. The gun used was found with the bullet still inside.

    Moore declined to speak, as did members of his family who were there to support him.

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