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Investigation continues into death of suspect shot by police in Fredonia

Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says he's not identifying the man killed in an encounter with a Fredonia police officer on Monday. The determination was made after a meeting with the man's family yesterday.

It was one of many developments in the case. The officer has been identified as Nathan Scriven. And the state attorney general's office has handed the investigation back to Chautauqua County District Attorney's office.

"Anything like this places a strain on a small office like this," Swanson said.

"We have 10 attorneys. We handle over 1,000 felonies a year. So, anything like this strains our office because of the nature of it, the severity of it, the amount of resources it takes to review one of these cases."

Fredonia Police Department officers wear body cameras, though Swanson isn't revealing information on the footage from Scriven's camera.

"They're (body cameras) a valuable tool if they're functioning properly," said Swanson.

"We're very fortunate to have that here. They tend to help more than not. But, it really depends on your specific case but typically if you have footage to review you then have something to verify witness statements on."

There are apparently other cameras which videotaped the incident. Initial reports indicated the man was fatally shot as he charged at Scriven while wielding a knife.

"ECMC has the autopsy. It usually takes some time for results to be released. So, I'm awaiting those," said Swanson, who's hoping for results to arrive "sooner rather than later."

The last time a Fredonia officer actually fired a service revolver was 15-years ago.
 

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.