Rochester, N.Y. – Rochester police say the shooting at a popular late night restaurant that sent one woman to the hospital is still under investigation, but may have not been intentional.
Around 3:15 a.m. Saturday morning 31-year-old Jackie Walker of Fairport was shot through a booth at Gitsis Restaurant on Monroe Avenue in Rochester. 30-year-old James Harvey of Virginia Beach, VA, was arrested and charged with first-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.
A Rochester Police Officer stopped at Gitsis Restaurant on his regular patrol Saturday morning when he was approached by the eateries’ security guard and a customer who both saw the gun.
“The security guard saw what be believed to be and out-print of the weapon,” said Chief James Sheppard of the Rochester Police Department, “the other individual walked by him [Harvey], with his elbow as they passed each other and felt that it was a weapon.”
The officer approached Harvey in a booth and as Harvey reached for the gun it went off, firing through the booth, and striking Walker. She is in strong in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital. The two did not know each other, according to officials.
“I can't say what his intent was,” said Chief Sheppard. ”But it appears he was just trying to remove the weapon from his person.”
In this case, Chief Sheppard said the officer, Gitsis’ security guard and customer who saw the gun did the right thing.
“We applaud them for taking those steps to assist and prevent this from possibly being a different scenario,” said Chief Sheppard.
A scenario that could have happened anywhere said City Councilman Adam McFadden.
“If this person showed up at any other business would you blame that business,” said McFadden, “I mean it's really on the person to be held responsible for their actions.”
And in this case, closing the restaurant is not the answer.
“People are going to eat at the end of their nights out,” said Chief Sheppard, “and we don't want to be at the position that we don't have those type of establishments in the city of Rochester.”