Rochester police responded to reports of shots fired near the 500 block of Lyell Avenue at 4:21 a.m. ET and spotted a vehicle "seen on camera leaving the area where the shots were fired," Capt. Mark Mura told reporters.
Officers caught up with that car less than a half-mile away, near Glasser Street, when the deadly confrontation unfolded, authorities said.
"They attempted a traffic stop of that vehicle," Mura said. "A few minutes later shots were fired and unfortunately the individual in the vehicle has been pronounced deceased."
The driver was not immediately identified, with Mura only saying he was a man in his 20s.
Multiple officers were at the scene, but Mura said he didn't know how many of them opened fire or if the driver shot at police.
Rochester police have been under a microscope since the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died days after being held down naked on a city street in the early morning hours of March 23, 2020. The city's police chief at the time, La’Ron Singletary, was ousted after video of the incident was released.
Footage showed Prude handcuffed and naked with a spit hood over his head as an officer pushed his face against the ground, while another officer pressed a knee to his back. Police said the officers placed the spit hood on Prude because he said he had Covid-19.
The officers held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing. He was taken off life support a week later.
Then on March 10 of this year, Rochester police fatally shot Tyshon Jones, a 29-year-old Black man who authorities said was armed with a knife. The man's family said he was having a mental health crisis when he was killed.
Rochester is New York state's third largest city and about 220 miles west of Albany.
The historic town, which served as a base for famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass, has been at the center of a nationwide "defund the police" debate, a movement aimed at shifting taxpayer money from law enforcement to social services and other crime prevention efforts.