Officials in the Buffalo Police Department addressed the vehicular ramming of officers on Bailey Avenue Monday night, but questions remain.
When the vehicle in question was caught, police found two passengers, a stolen gun, and a female driver with two gunshot wounds. Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo said State Police did fire shots at the vehicle.
“I know there’s going to be questions as far as who shot her. That is still under investigation," said Rinaldo. "There are conflicting stories as to whether she was shot just prior to the incident, meaning the gun that was recovered in the car. Did that come into play? Or by New York State Police?”
Videos on social media show the incident. Rinaldo said officers were attempting to disperse a crowd that had gathered near the E-District police precinct.
“There was about 30 people in the street, south on Bailey, probably 10 to 15 feet in front of the police line," Rinaldo said. "It was at that point that officers did disperse one round of tear gas in an attempt to move that crowd and, somewhere prior to the tear gas becoming effective, the vehicle just drove into the police line.”
New York State Police are leading the investigation and Rinaldo said troopers have already charged the two passengers, with the driver detained at ECMC while recovering.
“Clearly, motive will be a very large factor in determining the appropriate charges and that’s what I spoke to Major Hall [of State Police] about this morning," said Rinaldo. "That’s what the State Police are working through now, to determine what exactly the circumstances were that lead up to that vehicle being driven in the crowd.”
Of the three officers struck, one was a Buffalo police officer, while the other two were state troopers, one of whom sustained the more serious injuries, but is recovering.