Updated 06/18/2012 05:00 PM
Witnesses, Property Manager Defend Security Guard Charged in Chestnut Street Shooting
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Police say just before 10 p.m. Friday, police were called to 35 Chestnut Street. Paul Ravenell, 32, had been at the location acting aggressively and waving a knife. Witnesses say the building's security guard, 40-year-old Felix Cruz Romero, told the man to leave and the two had a scuffle. The guard called police. Police say the man was gone when they arrived.
Fifteen to 20 minutes later, Ravenell returned and police say pulled out a hammer from his backpack in an aggressive manner. Cruz-Romero shot him several times. According to court papers, Ravenell had damage to his intestines, liver and stomach, and had his spleen removed.
"I think he was justified in what he did. Put it this way, I might've did what he did the first time when the guy had a knife in his hand," said a man who spoke to YNN Monday, but did not want to be identified.
Building manager Marty Rennert says they hired armed guards in November. He said that's what police had recommended they do after another incident at the building when a building secretary was stabbed.
He said Cruz-Romero, who is also a former police officer with 20 years of law enforcement experience in Puerto Rico, did exactly what he was trained and hired to do.
"I don't know anybody, including you or me, if we were in possession of a weapon at the time, who would've done anything different," said Rennert.
Rennert said police should've made an arrest when they first responded that night, saying witnesses told them Ravenell was still in the area. He also said officers roughed up Cruz-Romero when they responded, throwing him up against the wall and treating him like "a criminal."
Rennert thinks this case could've gone to a grand jury without an arrest and couldn't believe his guard was charged.
"I was surprised, I'm disgusted and very, very disappointed," said Rennert.
Chief Jim Sheppard of the Rochester Police Department explained there are conflicting stories about just what happened Friday night. He said they made an arrest only after talking to the Monroe County District Attorney's office.
"We provided them with all the information we had and based on their recommendation, the arrest was made."
The DA's office did not want to comment because this is a pending case.
Chief Sheppard said if Felix Cruz Romero feels he was not treated properly at the scene, he'd like to hear about it, either in his office directly or through the Professional Standards office.
Rennert told YNN Cruz-Romero is upset and scared, worried that his livelihood is at risk, and he's a target with his name and face now in the news. Rennert says he wants changes at the RPD, wants Cruz-Romero's name cleared and says his job is waiting for him when this is all over.
"We absolutely are going to maintain security here and we're going to have continue with our armed guards and as soon as Felix is available, he'll be right back where he belongs."