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Sheriff: Suspect dead after pursuit leads to shooting in Canandaigua

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Ontario County Sheriff David Cirencione led a press conference Wednesday afternoon following the overnight shooting that happened in the city of Canandaigua.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

On Tuesday, February 28th around 11:20 p.m. the Ontario County 911 Center received a call from a citizen who reported that he was following a sedan on State Route 5 in the town of East Bloomfield, who stated they heard a ‘firecracker’ or ‘gunshot’ come from the vehicle.

A deputy in a marked sheriff’s car intercepted the vehicle on Route 5 near Buffalo Street Extension in Canandaigua. The deputy observed the sedan cross over the center line twice and activated emergency lights and attempted a traffic stop near West Avenue Extension.

Sheriff Cirencione holds press conference following a shooting in Canandaigua. Credit: Sam Parish, FL1 News.

The operator failed to comply and continued eastbound on West Avenue into the city of Canandaigua, Cirencione said. The operator continued driving erratically, going through the front lawn of the Byrne Dairy on West Avenue and continuing south onto South Pearl Street.

That’s when the suspect fired multiple shots from his vehicle as he travelled south on South Pearl.

The deputy continued to follow the suspect from South Pearl onto Parrish Street where the suspect turned east, running the red light for South Main Street, continuing into the City Mini on Main Street where he drove through a fence and struck a curb.

The vehicle became disabled, and multiple deputies, as well as officers from the Canandiagua Police Department had converged on the area.

That’s when the suspect, identified as Brandon Zurkan, 31, of Warren, Pennsylvania exited the vehicle with a handgun and began walking on Green Street, advancing toward officers.

Officers gave multiple commands for over eight minutes, urging the suspect to stop moving toward them and drop the gun. All of those commands were ignored, Cirencione said.

Zurkan then raised the gun toward the officers. At that point, two deputies and two city officers fired at the suspect – striking him.

Officers immediately detained Zurkan and requested an ambulance while assessing his condition, rendering emergency medical aid. Within two minutes of the shooting, Canandaigua Ambulance arrived and took over medical care.

Zurkan was pronounced dead at Thompson Hospital shortly thereafter.

The investigation remains active with both the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office and Canandaigua Police Department involved. The New York State Attorney’s General’s Office is also investigating.

“On behalf of Chief Nielsen and myself, we commend all officers who responded and used tremendous restraint in tryin to de-escalate this subject,” Sheriff Cirencione added during the press conference. “We are thankful for their safety today. Members of the Sheriff’s Office and Canandaigua Police Department also send our condolences to the family of Mr. Zurkan during this difficult time.”