Terrell Blake has been confirmed by Rochester police as the deceased suspect in the multiple shootings in the city that left two people dead Wednesday.
Blake is the son of Joy Powell, a prominent Rochester anti-violence activist in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s who herself wound up in prison. In an interview with a Democrat and Chronicle reporter in November 2002, she said she’d given birth to Terrell Blake in 1978, when she was 16 years old.
In December 1998, Blake was accused of using a sword to slice hair from the head of his 18-year-old girlfriend, Rosemary McFadden. McFadden, who later married Blake, said he attacked her during an argument. Blake, then 20, was being sought by police on charges of harassment and endangering the welfare of a child, according to a news report at the time
Blake made the local news again in June 2002 when he was shot and seriously wounded as he left a convenience store in northeast Rochester. Powell told a reporter then that her son would be paralyzed from the waist down.
During Wednesday’s manhunt, police described the suspect as a man who walked with a limp.
Powell, who now is 56 years old, is serving a 38-year to life prison term in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.
She was convicted in 2006 of burglary and assault charges and sentenced to 16 years in prison. Three years later, she was found guilty of second-degree murder in connection with the 1992 slaying of James Rutledge of Rochester and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
While in prison, Powell has written about her work to help police deal more appropriately with people suffering from mental illness. She said her interest in the subject dated to a police incident in Rochester.
That apparently is a reference to an incident in August 2002 that began with a man reportedly acting irrationally outside a Wegmans Food Market then located on Driving Park Avenue. The man was forcibly subdued after a lengthy struggle with city police and then sedated at Rochester General Hospital, where he died. Powell spoke out about officers’ handling of the case at the time.
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In 2004, Blake, then 25, pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a forged instrument and sentenced to time served and five years’ probation.
Three years later, Blake appeared in a Crimestoppers ad in the Democrat and Chronicle that stated he was wanted for violation of probation. Court records indicate he was apprehended and given an additional sentence for that offense.
In 2010, Blake was arrested again and convicted in October of that year of criminal possession of a forged instrument. He was sentenced to three to six years in state prison.
In October 2012, while Blake was in prison, his wife, Rosemary Blake, filed for divorce. The divorce was finalized in May 2014.
Blake was released from Livingston Correctional Facility in Sonyea, Livingston County, in August 2016.
The suspect's aunt, Juliet Blake-Levan, said that Blake was a tattoo artist.
"He was very creative and he was so smart," she said "but he struggled with mental illness."
Blake-Levan said that she called police during the incident.
"I begged them. I pleaded with them," she said. "I said 'My nephew has mental illness. I know he’s going through a breakdown. Please don’t shoot my nephew.'"