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Suspect in New York cop killing ID’d as recent parolee

Upstate New York police Thursday identified the suspect in Wednesday night's fatal shooting of a police officer as a parolee released in August who served three years for attempted robbery.

The Democrat and Chronicle reported that the suspect, Thomas Johnson III, was in surgery early Thursday and his condition was not immediately clear.

The Rochester Police officer, who was not immediately identified, was shot just before 9:30 p.m. in a shootout with Johnson during a chase, Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli said. The killing marks the first time since 1959 that an officer from the department was killed in the line of duty.

Johnson was reportedly released in August after serving a year on a parole violation, the paper reported. He had served three years for an attempted robbery.

The officer was taken to Rochester General Hospital, where he died. The suspect was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital.

"It is with a sad and heavy heart that I come before you to announce that tonight we lost one of our own," Ciminelli said at an early Thursday news conference. "A police officer who gave his life in the line of duty, who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the people of Rochester."

Ciminelli said there are no other suspects and that an investigation was continuing.

Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren asked the community to keep the officer’s family in their prayers.

"Words simply cannot express the sense of sorrow and deep loss that we feel at this moment," Warren said.

Before the news conference, dozens of police officers met with the mayor and police chief at Rochester’s public safety building, some reportedly in tears.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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