Just before 9:30 pm on Wednesday, Police Officer Daryl Pierson was fatally shot in Rochester, New York. According to Newsday, Pierson was an "eight-year veteran of the police force, and he is the first member of the city's police force to be killed in the line of duty since 1959."
Thomas Johnson III is the identified suspect who allegedly shot Pierson. Fox News reports that Johnson is a parolee who was released last month after serving three years for attempted robbery. Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli says Johnson was wounded in a shootout with Pierson and his partner, Michael Dipaola, who apprehended him. An innocent bystander, Jamal Bollar, 23, was also shot. His injuries are not life threatening.
Bollar recalled the incident to Newsday, saying he had just stepped outside with his 2-year-old daughter to let the dog out when he heard shots fired. Bollar's fatherly instincts were to get his daughter inside immediately. It wasn't until he was inside his house that Bollar felt pain in his leg and realized his clothes were wet with blood.
Bollar goes on to say that his uncle Gregory ran outside to tell the police his nephew had been shot when Gregory saw Dipaola with the suspect on the ground, with Pierson lying on the ground nearby.
"It is with a sad and heavy heart that I come before you to announce that tonight we lost one of our own," Police Chief Ciminelli said, as reported by Fox News. "A police officer who gave his life in the line of duty, who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the people of Rochester."
Officer Daryl Pierson, a 32-year-old Army National Guard veteran who served in Afghanistan, is survived by a loving wife and two young children.
Newsday reports Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren made the following statement with great emotion.
"Words simply cannot express the sense of sorrow and deep loss that we feel at this moment. A family has lost a loved one. The men and women of our police department have lost a family member and a friend. And we the people of Rochester have lost someone, who like every other RPD officer, put their life on the line, day after day, for us."
[Photo Credit: DemocratandChronicle.com]