In Upstate New York, Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo says it started as a shoplifting call at the Wegmans and when police arrived, the suspect took off leading police on a chase through several backyards. After being chased for just under a mile, The suspect then climbed onto the roof of a parking garage. When officers went up on the roof to confront him, police say he showed a knife and charged at the officers. Police fired their weapon at the suspect, striking him three times.
“The officers had no room to attempt to retreat,” said Rinaldo. “They did an excellent job trying to deescalate this first through verbal commands, and use of pepper spray which had no effect. Unfortunately, the officers were faced with a situation where a suspect is charging at them with a knife in his hand, stating that they’re gonna have to shoot him, and it was either fire and stop the threat or possibly fall off the back of the roof with a suspect whose armed with a knife falling on top of you.”
The deceased, identified by police as a 47-year-old Marcus Neal recently moved to Buffalo from outside the area, succumbed to his wounds Wednesday morning after undergoing surgery at ECMC. “No officer wants to fire their weapon,” said Rinaldo. “But once you pull a weapon and begin to threaten the officers …most times it’s the suspect that determines the conclusion of these events and not the police officers who are there doing their job.”
Buffalo Police do not carry tasers, although the will be issued them on an experimental basis beginning next month. Rinaldo, however, indicated that a taser would not likely have been able to be effectively used in this situation.The officer who fired on the suspect, in line with department protocol, has for now been placed on administrative leave while the The Erie County District Attorney’s office investigates. [Source: WGRZ2 News]