Rochester, NY crash near Kodak Center being investigated as domestic terrorism

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Members of the Rochester Fire Department work the scene of a crash in Rochester, New York, on Monday. Courtesy Lorne Mauldin

Rochester Police Chief David Smith detailed suspect Michael Avery’s actions in the days leading up to the fatal car crash that authorities continue to investigate.

The 35-year-old man traveled to the area of Rochester, New York, in his personal vehicle on or about December 27 and checked into a hotel, Smith said.

On Friday afternoon, Avery rented a Ford Expedition from a car rental agency at the Rochester airport, the police chief said.

On Saturday, Avery made multiple purchases of gasoline and gas containers at various locations throughout the day, Smith said. It appears Avery made the purchases alone, he added.

Around 12:52 a.m. ET Monday — New Year’s Day — Avery was driving the rented Ford Expedition near the site of a concert venue. Two Rochester police officers were working traffic after the concert ended, police said.

“At this time, Avery sped up, crossed into the ongoing lane of traffic, and appears to have intentionally been driving towards the pedestrian crossing,” Smith said Tuesday. At about the same time, a rideshare vehicle with two passengers in the back seat that was leaving the parking lot was struck by Avery’s vehicle.

The two rear passengers of rideshare were killed, and nine pedestirans were injured, the police chief said.

Officials said the suspect in the crash has died and there is no indication of “political or social biases.” Police continue to investigate the incident and a possible motive behind the crime.


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