Police in upstate New York shot and critically wounded a man who attacked a female cop with a baseball bat, according to officials.
The shooting comes on the heels of unrest in nearby Rochester over the police-custody homicide of a mentally a unstable man that cops had been called to check on.
Several Buffalo cops — including a specialist crisis-intervention officer a — were called to a “mental health crisis” just before 3 p.m. Saturday as the unidentified man threatened people in the street, the force said.
Several officers followed the “agitated” man and repeatedly pleaded with him to put down the baseball bat as he “made a striking motion toward officers,” police spokesman Jeffrey Rinaldo told a press conference, according to The Buffalo News.
Officers “attempted to deploy pepper spray on at least a couple of occasions” but it “did not appear to have any effect,” Rinaldo said.
After he was trailed for five blocks, he finally swung at a female officer and hit her with the bat, the police spokesperson said.
“When he attempted to swing the bat a second time at her, that’s when her partner did fire two rounds, striking the suspect one time in the abdomen,” Rinaldo told the press conference, according to the paper.
After officers on the scene rendered aid, the shot suspect was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was listed Saturday evening in critical but stable condition, police said.
The female officer “sustained a small injury to her arm” but did not suffer any serious injuries, Rinaldo said.
Officers wore body cameras, which is now being reviewed as part of the investigation, the spokesman said.
“Part of our investigation will be to determine what brought the officers there; how they handled it; attempts at de-escalation and what led to the eventual shooting of the suspect,” Rinaldo said.
News of the shooting sparked a small protest, with a group of about two dozen, including several who have taken part in recent protests against police brutality, gathering at the scene, the Buffalo paper said.
John Evans, president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, told the paper that they believed “officers followed departmental protocols.”
“This type of interaction is extremely dangerous and can quickly turn into a life or death situation,” Evans said, noting how the officers had “pleaded with the individual to drop the bat” before he attacked the female cop.
With Post wires