(Rochester, N.Y.) – A 14-year-old boy has been charged in the shooting of a Rochester police officer.
Tyquan Rivera will be arraigned Wednesday on second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault charges.
Tyquan turned hinself into police Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Public Safety Building. He was accompanied by an attorney.
The arrest caps off an intense three-day search for the youth, who is accused of firing a single shot that struck Officer Anthony DiPonzio in the back of the head. DiPonzio had been investigating a report of drug activity on Dayton Street, where Rivera lives.
DiPonzio is in guarded condition at Rochester General Hospital.
"We have a young man off the street," said Police Chief David Moore. "He will obviously be held responsible for his actions."
“This is something our soldiers face on the streets of Baghdad, to have somebody snipe at them when they're walking down the street, but not on our streets,” said Mayor Robert Duffy, who likened the shooting to a “sniper attack.”
Tyquan was charged as an adult, but because of his age, he’s considered a juvenile offender. If convicted, he faces a minimum of 1 to 3 years to a maximum of 3 ½ to 10 years behind bars.
Police and prosecutors would not discuss Tyquan’s background until after he is arraigned.
“I don't know the family of the 14-year-old who's involved in this. I think it's too premature to even guess, but I think the most important thing, there are no excuses, there could be no reason for somebody to do such a cowardly dastardly act that we saw,” said Duffy.
The Rochester City School District said in a statement that Tyquan attended city schools until sixth grade, when he received services from other programs, including the juvenile justice system.
“A great deal of support and attention were poured into our work with this young man. Working in partnership with community agencies, we reached out to him, worked with his family, and provided the social and behavioral support that would make a difference,” said Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard in a statement. “The fact that every resource at our disposal couldn’t overcome the lure of the street is testimony to the important work we do and the challenges we face as a community.”
DiPonzio’s parents attended the news conference announcing the arrest.
“We just want to thank the community for your great support, just keep Anthony in your prayers,” Tony DiPonzio said.
His mother said the doctors were pleased with his progress. Anthony is still in guarded condition, but can now squeeze his fingers, and is responding to the voices of family members.
“He’s doing very well,” Joanne DiPonzio said. “He’s coming along very nicely. The surgeon’s very pleased with his progress. And just please keep the prayers coming because they’re working so far.”