Rochester, NY – Rochester Police Department (RPD) Officer Anthony “Tony” Mazurkiewicz was murdered in the line of duty while conducting an undercover surveillance operation on July 21.
Officer Mazurkiewicz and his partner, Officer Sino Seng, were sitting in an unmarked police vehicle on Bauman Street conducting surveillance for a murder investigation at approximately 9:15 p.m. when a gunman walked up behind them and fired 17 rounds into their car, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Officer Seng jumped out of the passenger side of the vehicle and returned fire, but did not hit the gunman.
The shooter fled the scene.
Officer Seng, an eight-year veteran of the RPD, was shot in the lower body, RPD Chief David Smith told reporters on Friday morning, according to WROC.
He was treated at Rochester General Hospital and was later released to continue his recovery at home with his wife and children.
A 15-year-old girl also suffered non-life threatening wounds when a bullet entered her home during the ambush attack, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Officer Mazurkiewicz, a 29-year veteran of the RPD, died at the hospital from at least two gunshot wounds to the upper body, according to WHAM.
Police located the alleged gunman hiding in the crawlspace of a vacant home approximately one hour after the attack, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
He was later identified as 21-year-old Kelvin Vickers, WROC reported.
Vickers has been charged with second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, and second-degree assault.
He was ordered to be held without bail following an arraignment on Saturday morning, WROC reported.
Chief Smith struggled to hold back tears as he addressed the media on Friday, WROC reported.
“Yesterday morning, at 11am, I was asked by the media, ‘how dangerous is it out there for the Officers of the Rochester Police Department?’” he recalled. “My response was that every day, the men and women of this department leave home, not knowing if they are going to return home at the end of their shift.”
“Ten hours later, Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, a father, a husband, and a 29-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department, was killed in the line of duty on Bauman Street while in service to our community,” the emotional chief said.
Chief Smith characterized the shooting as a “cowardly ambush.”
Rochester Mayor Malik Evans praised the RPD officers who are continuing to protect and serve despite what happened to their fellow officers, WHAM reported.
Evans said the ambush is a tragedy for the entire city.
“I’m asking Rochester to pray for these officers and their families. They go out every day and put their lives on the line,” he continued. “And while there are some people who sit on the sidelines, these guys are on the front lines, trying to keep our community safe. We ask for prayers for these officers, their families, the RPD and the entire city of Rochester.”
He noted that Officer Mazurkiewicz, 54, was eligible for retirement and didn’t need to still be out on the streets, but that he chose to protect and serve anyway.
“He didn’t want folks in our neighborhoods to be held hostage to the very cowards that are wreaking havoc in our community,” he said.
RPD Officer William Finnerty, who retired in 2013, said he was partners with Officer Mazurkiewicz for six years, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
Many of the officers they worked with during their time together have already retired.
“He could have left and he didn’t do it,” Finnerty said. “He didn’t do it for the money…Why does someone do it? Because it was from his heart. Clearly in this generation you don’t do it for accolades.”
Officer Mazurkiewicz served with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) prior to joining the RPD in 1993, according to his obituary.
RPD Deputy Chief Scott Peters said the veteran officer spent most of his career serving on the agency’s tactical unit, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
“Twenty-nine years on the job and he was still out there at night doing what the tactical unit does,” Deputy Chief Peters said.
Officer Mazurkiewicz leaves behind his wife of 28 years, Lynn, as well as his four children and three grandchildren.
He is also survived by his parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and his large law enforcement “extended family,” according to his obituary.
“To his family, he will always be the absolute best man that ever existed,” the tribute read.
Officer Mazurkiewicz will be laid to rest on Aug. 1.
Remember his name Officer Tony Mazurkiewicz badge #557, he was a good man. 🇺🇸🙏💙 pic.twitter.com/st7vqHOes3
— DSIMPS14 (@Dsimps14) July 22, 2022
Blue ribbons can be spotted throughout the Perinton & Fairport communities as a symbol to remember fallen @RochesterNYPD Officer Tony Mazurkiewicz. Hear from the @TPerinton Supervisor about long-term plans to honor his legacy tonight on @News_8 at 4:00 & 5:00. pic.twitter.com/WyNy6FD8D6
— Isabel Garcia (@IsabelG_WROC) July 25, 2022
RPD’s Tony Mazurkiewicz visitation: Sun. 1-8 at Keenan funeral Home 7501 Pittsford-Palmyra Rd. in Fairport. Shuttle service to/from Fairport High. Funeral is Mon. at 12 at Blue Cross. In lieu of flowers-donations to Badge of Honor Assoc. PO Box 30735, ROC NY 14603 @SPECNews1ROC pic.twitter.com/uJirs43UG7
— Wendy Mills (@WendyMillsTV) July 25, 2022
Brockport Fire District “In an expression of solidarity with our brothers & sisters in blue at the Rochester Police Dept. our Firefighter's Memorial Monument is lit up in blue and will remain that way until Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz has been laid to rest.”
📷:BFD @SPECNews1ROC pic.twitter.com/MTBsPCi7Ta
— Wendy Mills (@WendyMillsTV) July 24, 2022
Rochester General Hospital & Unity Hospital lit up in blue tonight in honor of Rochester Police Officer Tony Mazurkiewicz, Officer Sino Seng and all the members of Rochester area law enforcement 💙🖤 @news10nbc @ROCRegional pic.twitter.com/n2bx5NVjah
— Raven Tiara Brown (@WHEC_RBrown) July 25, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Rochester Police Department Officer Anthony “Tony” Mazurkiewicz, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, your life mattered.