ROCHESTER, NY – The New Year’s Eve celebration became the scene of a horrific tragedy when a vehicle packed with explosives hurtled into a crowd of concert-goers in Rochester, New York, resulting in the death of a couple and numerous injuries early New Year’s Day, according to police.
Just shy of 1 a.m., approximately 1,000 people were exiting the Kodak Center after a New Year’s Eve moe. concert when a Ford Expedition sped towards the crowd. However, it violently crashed into an Uber car that was coming out from a nearby parking lot.
The vehicles burst into flames upon impact, resulting in an intense fire that took nearly an hour for firefighters to extinguish.
Medical responders pronounced the couple in the Uber dead at the scene while the Uber driver and three pedestrians were severely injured, with one pedestrian’s condition described as life-threatening.
The man driving the Expedition was identified as Michael Avery, suffered life-threatening injuries and died later that evening.
Once the fire was put out, investigators found at least a dozen gasoline canisters scattered both on the road and within the damaged Expedition, leading Chief Smith to mention a possible domestic terrorism angle in their investigation.
The suspect, a Syracuse resident, had rented a hotel room in Rochester where police found a suicide note and journal.
Family members interviewed by investigators indicated Avery might have had undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Authorities are also planning to search Avery’s storage unit in north Syracuse.
The band moe., a rock group from Buffalo that hosted the concert just before the incident, released a statement that expressed their “profound shock and sadness.”