Rochester Suffers First Police Death in 55 Years


A Rochester police officer was killed Wednesday night during a shootout with a suspect, becoming the first member of the city’s police force to die in the line of duty since 1959, officials said.

Daryl Pierson, an eight-year veteran of the force and a 32-year-old Army National Guard veteran who served in Afghanistan, is survived by his wife and two young children. He was shot just before 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in a gunfight while pursuing a suspect, who also wounded a bystander. The suspect, who was wounded by Pierson’s partner, Michael Dipaola, was apprehended.

Bystander Jamal Bollar, 23, said he was shot in front of his house. Leaning on a crutch, he said doctors left the bullet in his thigh because it was too risky to remove it.

Describing the shooting, he said police appeared to be chasing someone.

“I was out in front of my house taking the dog out and the next thing you know, shots were fired,” said Bollar, who was with his 2-year-old daughter on the porch. “As a father, my first reaction was to get her in the house.”

Bollar said when he heard the shots his leg began hurting, but he didn’t realize he had been shot. His uncle, Gregory Bollar, ran outside and told police his nephew had been shot.

Bollar said he saw Dipaola with the suspect on the ground and Pierson lying nearby.

“The officer remained professional. He did his job,” Bollar said. “He was a lot more merciful than I would have been. It’s crazy. The whole situation went sideways so fast.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said flags on state government buildings will be flown at half-staff Friday in Pierson’s honor.

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