Buffalo, NY – A 28-year-old convicted felon has been charged with attempted murder in connection with the shooting of three Buffalo police officers Tuesday night.
Kente Bell was already serving probation for a March, 2020 conviction for firearm possession and other charges when he allegedly carried out the attacks on Buffalo police on March 29, WGRZ reported.
Bell, who was shot during a gun battle with officers, had not yet been arraigned Wednesday, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn told the news outlet.
In addition to being arrested on three counts of first-degree attempted murder of a police officer, Bell also faces one count of criminal possession of a weapon and several traffic and vehicle charges, WGRZ reported.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said additional charges may be forthcoming.
The series of the events leading to the shootout began at approximately 6 p.m. on March 29, when an officer stopped a vehicle on East Ferry Street, WHAM reported.
The officer spoke with the driver briefly before the driver sped away from the stop, triggering a pursuit, according to police.
Officers chased the fleeing suspect northbound on Niagara Street, where one suspect bailed out and took off on foot, The Buffalo News reported.
The suspect vehicle then continued on to Routes 198 and 33, WIVB reported.
A gunman inside the fleeing vehicle opened fire on police on Bailey Avenue, shooting one officer through the windshield, according to police.
A second officer was shot in his ballistic vest, WGRZ reported.
The chase ended at the intersection of North Fillmore Avenue and East Ferry Street, directly in front of the Buffalo Police Department’s (BPD) Ferry-Fillmore District station, according to The Buffalo News.
A third police officer was shot in the ear and bicep during an ensuing exchange of gunfire with the suspects, WGRZ reported.
One of the suspects was also wounded, according to police.
A second suspect was taken into custody.
The wounded officers were rushed to Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), where one officer was taken into emergency surgery, The Buffalo News reported.
He had been shot in the lower abdomen, WKBW reported.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the officer has since been listed in stable condition.
He was later identified as Officer Joseph McCarthy, a five-year BPD veteran, WKBW reported.
The other two officers who were shot did not suffer life-threatening injuries and have since been released from the hospital to recover at home, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told WGRZ on Wednesday.
They have been identified as seven-year BPD Officer Trevor Sheehan and Officer Christopher Wilson, a four-year member of the department, WKBW reported.
“We are very fortunate that no one was killed in this incident,” Brown told WGRZ. “No member of the Buffalo Police Department and no member of the public, because of the way this individual was shooting from a moving vehicle showed absolutely no concern for people’s safety. No concern for human life.”
The mayor said the officers “did an exceptional job under very difficult and very dangerous circumstances,” WGRZ reported.
Commissioner Gramaglia said the chase was conducted within the parameters of the BPD’s pursuit policy, The Buffalo News reported.
Bystanders captured portions of the incident with their cell phones, according to police.
The police commissioner said investigators are still working to determine whether or not any businesses or residences were hit by gunfire during the chase.
A total of 10 BPD vehicles, nine of which were struck by gunfire, are being held as evidence, Commissioner Gramaglia told WGRZ.
Police have approximately 19 separate crime scenes to process in connection with the incident, WKBW reported.