Photo Courtesy of Heroes Memorial Foundation

Rochester, N.Y. — The Rochester Police Officer shot and killed Wednesday night has been identified as Daryl R. Pierson.

Police Chief Michael Ciminelli held a joint press conference with Mayor Lovely Warren Thursday morning where Ciminelli revealed details about Pierson and the shooting.

Photo Courtesy of Heroes Memorial Foundation

The suspect has also been identified as Thomas Johnson III, 38, who is a recent parolee and has an extensive criminal record, law enforcement officials have told multiple news outlets.

A bystander, identified as Jamal, 23, was shot in the thigh while walking his dog in the area. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Here’s what happened:

There was a traffic stop on Hudson Avenue near Warsaw Street in Rochester, according to TWC News.

After a pursuit shortly before 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night, gunfire erupted.

“At some point, the suspect is believed to have jumped out of the car to run away,” WHEC reported. “There was a pursuit and then gunfire that turned into a shootout.”

Officer Michael DiPaola returned fire and shot the suspect, who is in custody and recovering at Strong Memorial Hospital, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. (No charges have been announced so far.)

“Several other officers carried a gravely injured Pierson to a car,” the Democrat and Chronicle said, citing Rochester’s police chief. “Doctors worked with ‘absolute fury’ and ‘tried to pull off a miracle which was not to be.’”

What we know about the officer:

Pierson joined the Rochester Police Department in 2006 and received the Officer of the Year award in 2010 and Good Conduct Award in 2013. He was also a member of the U.S. Army National Guard, according to multiple reports.

Pierson was a husband and father of two children, 4 and 3-months-old, TWC News said.

“Words cannot express the sadness and grief we feel at the loss of our brother, officer Daryl Pierson. Daryl made the ultimate sacrifice, by courageously giving his life protecting the city of Rochester,” Police Chief Ciminelli said, according to TWC News.

“During this difficult time, I know the Rochester community will join together with us to honor our fallen comrade and to support his family.”

He’s the first Rochester cop to be killed since 1959.

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle also has an interview with Pierson’s wife.

What we know about the suspect:

The Democrat and Chronicle also reported on the suspect’s extensive criminal history.

Johnson III was incarcerated in Wyoming for an attempted robbery, in Rochester for criminal trespass and in Florida for a weapons conviction, according to the newspaper.

He was also only recently released, in August, according to the New York Post.

Officials express condolences:

In Rochester, Ithaca, Albany and elsewhere in NY State officials expressed condolences to the Rochester Police Department and the slain officer’s family.


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