(IntegrityPress.org) – In Rochester, New York, an incident unfolded on New Year’s Day when an SUV driver, later identified as Michael Avery, 35, from Syracuse, sped towards pedestrians after a concert, resulting in a collision that killed two people and injured numerous others. Avery succumbed to his injuries on the evening of January 1, leaving investigators in the dark regarding Avery’s intentions.
Rochester Police Chief David Smith addressed the media, revealing that while Avery’s motive remains elusive, but there’s no indication of terrorist intent. Smith emphasized the possibility of Avery grappling with undiagnosed mental health challenges, saying that there were no political or social motivations. Authorities believe Avery acted alone in the incident, which occurred around 1 AM near the Kodak Center theater complex after a performance by the band “moe.”
Detailing the sequence of events, Smith described how Avery accelerated his Ford Expedition towards a pedestrian crossing, colliding with another vehicle and striking pedestrians in the process. The aftermath saw an explosion and then a fire that firefighters battled for more than an hour. Amidst the wreckage, authorities discovered numerous gasoline canisters around Avery’s SUV, triggering an arson investigation and involving the FBI.
The FBI Buffalo Field Office confirmed its collaboration with local authorities on the case. Initially, reports indicated three pedestrians were injured, but Smith updated the count to nine, noting varying degrees of injuries. One victim sustained severe injuries, while the others are expected to recover fully.
Further insights into Avery’s activities before the incident emerged. He had traveled to Rochester days prior, staying at WoodSpring Suites in Greece, NY. Avery then rented the involved Ford Expedition from a local airport agency, leaving his personal vehicle parked there. Surveillance footage revealed Avery purchasing gasoline and containers across Monroe and Ontario counties between 9 AM and 6 PM the day of the event, adding another layer to the ongoing investigation.
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