ROCHESTER, NY – The recent homicides in Rochester have been felt by many in the Beechwood area of Rochester. Police identified the shooting victim as 29-year-old Earl Thomas. They said he was shot by Robert Bloomfield, 23, as they argued at the Sunoco petrol station on Culver Road.
News10NBC spoke to a business owner who lives near the scene of the shooting.
Most of those we also spoke to on Saturday afternoon said that while Beachwood is a relatively quiet part of the city, they were not surprised to see this type of gun violence in their neighborhood.
“When I saw the yellow tape coming up, I knew something was really wrong,” said Wade Davis, owner of Wade’s Barbershop.
While he didn’t hear the gunshots, he saw the response minutes later.
“I just saw a lot of police cars, they’re coming, and they’re zooming in,” Davis said.
Two men, identified by police as Earl Thomas and Robert Broomfield, got into an altercation at a Sunoco gas station a block from his barber shop on Culver Road.
“I did call because I knew one of my clients’ wives worked there and I just wanted to check to make sure she was okay,” Davis said.
Bloomfield shot Thomas multiple times, police said. Thomas was taken by private vehicle to Rochester General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Shortly thereafter, Bloomfield was arrested. Davis said he was saddened to hear of yet another gun-related homicide in the city. 6th time so far this year.
“I knew the argument couldn’t have been about anything. As far as I know, these people didn’t even know each other and it was just a minor altercation in the store,” Davis said.
He went on to say that this is not the first time serious crimes have occurred in the neighbourhood.
“We’ve been here 14 years and it can happen anywhere. We’re not safe anywhere. You know I don’t care if it’s in Henrietta, where I grew up. I don’t care if it’s in Pittsford. It can happen anywhere, We’re kind of used to it now,” Davis said.
He did admit he was a bit concerned, as he said violent crime in the city was getting a little out of hand.
“As a business owner, I might be a little concerned because I don’t want my clients to feel like they’re not safe here. They can’t come here, and it’s not safe, or something like that,” Davis said.
Robert Bloomfield was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree possession of a weapon. He is expected to be arraigned Sunday morning in Rochester Municipal Court.