BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “We just want the truth in the story cause a lot of things don’t match with the police report,” said Christian Irizarry, cousin of Jose Hernandez-Rossy.
Friends and family members of 26 year old Jose Hernandez-Rossy gathered tonight for a vigil on Germain Street. They say he was a good person and had three children.
“He love kids cause he treats my two kids like his own kids,” said Irizarry.
Police say they tried to pull over the suspect as he was driving near Garfield Street & Hartman Sunday evening. There was a struggle and police say a shot was fired that hit officer Acquino. Acquino’s partner Justin Tedesco fired at Hernandez-Rossy, wounding him.
He was found a short distance from the scene and taken to Kenmore Mercy, but it was too late.
“His family is all crumbled you know cause that’s hard. Especially for his mom,” said Irizarry.
“I know he’s a good father to his children he always talked about his kids and how much he loved them,” said Melody Cercone, friend of Jose.
A friend of Hernandez-Rossy tells News 4 he was well known in the neighborhood. She says he does have a troubled past of run-ins with law enforcement and he’s been caught selling drugs. But she says that doesn’t justify his death. She feels he was targeted by police.
“Just because he sold drugs or whatever the case may be, maybe sold drugs, doesn’t mean that he’s a bad person it just means that he did bad things. He didn’t deserve to die for it,” said Mary Almanzar, friend of Jose Hernandez-Rossy.
A lawyer with the Police Benevolent Association says that police were justified in using deadly force because Officer Acquino was shot. But family members of Hernandez-Rossy still want answers.
“We want the truth, we want the truth. We don’t want this to stay in the bottom of the pile,” said Irizarry.
“We’re going to seek to obtain the autopsy, have an independent review if the findings are in any way questionable,” said Nelson Torre, family’s attorney.
Jose’s family still has a lot of of unanswered questions. At this point we don’t know why Hernandez-Rossy was pulled over and police have not said if a gun has been recovered.