Buffalo, NY – A man armed with a shotgun allegedly held his mother hostage before being shot by a Buffalo SWAT team officer on Friday afternoon (video below).
“It is very preliminary in the investigation, but this has all the makings of a suicide by cop,” Buffalo Police Benevolent Association attorney Thomas Burton told The Buffalo News.
The incident began at approximately 2:30 p.m., when police received a report of a “suicidal male,” Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo said during an afternoon press conference.
The unnamed 34-year-old suspect discharged several rounds from the window of a residence on McKinley Parkway, then came outside and fired another round, WGRZ reported.
A source familiar with the investigation said that the gunman emerged from the house with his mother in one arm, and his weapon in the other, The Buffalo News reported.
He then pointed his gun at the officer twice, ignoring his commands to drop the weapon, the source said.
A neighbor captured the harrowing encounter on video, which showed the suspect and his mother standing in the driveway next to a black pickup truck.
Nearby, officers yelled orders at the man from behind the cover of their patrol vehicles.
“Poor lady, I feel so bad for her – she’s screaming,” a female said in the recording, just as a gunshot rang out.
The gunman, who was partially blocked from the camera’s view by the pickup, immediately hunched over and began forcing his mother towards the rear bumper of the vehicle.
He then slammed the woman to the ground, and turned to square off with the officers, the video showed.
Three additional shots rang out, as the gunman collapsed to the ground.
The officers immediately swarmed around him and began delivering first aid.
An ambulance arrived seconds later.
“I don’t see the lady!” the woman recording the scene said through tears.
A moment later, a man off-camera said that the female hostage had stood up, and that she appeared to be okay.
“I never thought I’d see the day where something like this happens in my own neighborhood,” Facebook user Chris James Marcri said in the video caption. “Glad to see all the officers and neighbors are safe. Thank you Buffalo police.”
The suspect, who was struck “in the lower extremities,” was transported to Erie County Medical Center. He was subsequently taken in to surgery, a police source told The Buffalo News on Friday evening.
The officer who shot the suspect was taken to the hospital for an evaluation, and has been placed on administrative leave as per standard policy, Capt. Rinaldo said.
“Based on the information we have right now, the officers did an excellent job of containing this incident,” the captain said, according to WBFO. “They were forced to use deadly physical force to stop a threat.”
You can watch the raw cell phone footage of the officers’ encounter with the gunman in the video below. WARNING - Graphic Content: