© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Details released from officer-involved shooting

Buffalo PD Commissioner addresses media
Alex Simone | WBFO-FM 88.7
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia addresses media members Friday about a shooting involving police officers Sept. 23. The man involved was reportedly holding a gun as to shoot himself, but it later was determined to be a pellet gun. The man suffered "critical" but not life-threatening injuries, Gramaglia said.

New information has been released about the shooting of a man by Buffalo Police the morning of Sept. 23. 

The man involved reportedly had a gun pointed at himself when police arrived around 4:20 a.m., but it later was identified as a pellet gun.

After not heeding instructions to surrender the firearm, the man was shot by one officer, being hit once in the neck and shoulder area, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.

Officers learn de-escalation methods during training, but those lessons focus on sharp or blunt weapons, not firearms, Gramaglia said.

“That really focuses on edged weapons and blunt objects, things of that nature. You know, some of those tactics can be used, but it does change the name of the game, you know, how things can, potentially, play out when you are dealing with firearms.”

The man was reported as a suicidal subject and believed to have taken multiple pills before officers arrived.

The man has been hospitalized at Erie County Medical Center since the incident, with critical but not life-threatening injuries, Gramaglia said.

Firefighters also responded to the scene for the suicidal subject call, but police entered first because of the firearm risk, he said.

The department has opened an internal affairs investigation to whether it was an appropriate use of force, which is part of BPD’s “normal course of business,” Gramaglia said.

That investigation will be on hold until the Erie County District Attorney’s Office has completed its own investigation, he said.

“We are limited as to what our internal affairs investigators can do until the district attorney's office determines, you know, where their investigation goes,” Gramaglia said. “Then we will increase our investigation and … we'll have an opportunity -- at that point -- to actually speak with the involved officer.”

The officer who fired his weapon was placed on administrative leave, which also was according to standard procedure, he said.

Police did find multiple unregistered firearms in the residence in the incident’s aftermath, but none was on the man’s person when he was shot, Gramaglia said.

The family already has met with BPD for discussions and to review the available bodycam footage, Gramaglia said.

“We, again, expressed that we have sincere hope of a full recovery and that the individual does make that recovery, and continues to heal,” he said.