RPD: NYS Assemblyman Bill Nojay died by suicide

RPD patrol cars arrive on scene at Riverside Cemetery after an apparent suicide on the property Friday morning (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Rochester Police confirmed Friday afternoon that New York State Assemblyman Bill Nojay has died.

According to RPD, Nojay took his own life Friday morning.

At a news conference shortly after noon Friday, Rochester Police said someone called 911 at 9:20 a.m. Friday for a welfare check of an individual at the Riverside Cemetery on Lake Avenue.

"Somebody called the 911 center to check the welfare of an individual within the grounds," said Investigator Frank Camp of the Rochester Police Department. "The officer responded and this unfortunately was the result.


They say when officers arrived at 9:26 a.m., they witnessed Nojay fatally shoot himself.

Police did not confirm who called them about the welfare check involving a person at Riverside Cemetery.

Hours later, police towed away the SUV linked to Nojay as just a few miles away at an event for the Locust club, fellow Assemblyman Mark Johns said he just met with Nojay yesterday.

"It was a shock," Johns said. "It was a complete shock. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I know his wife as well. Good people. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them."

The New York State Board of Elections said there is protocol for situations such as this. Primary ballots are finalized within seven days of an election. Since this happened within that time frame, the ballot remains the same.

If Nojay wins the primary, the seat will default to a vacancy and the GOP county leaders within Livingston, Monroe and Steuben Counties, which Nojay represented, will select a replacement.

According to the NYS BOE, they have ten days from the time of the vacancy to do that. Since the vacancy happened Friday, the BOE has until September 19 to make that selection.

Nojay was elected to the New York State Assembly's 133rd District seat in November 2012. He was scheduled to run in a Republican primary next week against Richard Milne.

Nojay's opponent in the 113rd District race released a statement:

Honeoye Falls Mayor and Candidate for the 133rd Assembly district Richard B. Milne is devastated by the news surrounding Assemblyman Bill Nojay.
Mayor Milne sends his heartfelt condolences and concern to the Family and supporters of Assemblyman Nojay.

Later in the day, Milne's office released a second statement:

In light of the recent tragic death of NY State Assemblyman Bill Nojay I am suspending all political activity until further notice.
While we have tried to stop some of the radio ads, this may not be possible but we are trying.
As a candidate and more importantly as a person, I am devastated by today's events. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and supporters of Assemblyman Nojay.
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