One of the three Buffalo police officers who were shot dead while chasing a wild car is hospitalized and investigators are still trying to determine what happened.
Buffalo, New York – Police radio transmissions caught a riot on Buffalo Road Tuesday evening when three officers and a fleeing motorist were shot while chasing a wild car.
“I’m hurting! I’m hurting!” An officer’s voice could be heard when the siren sounded in the background.
A few minutes later another urgent voice came: “They are still shooting. Multiple officers hit!
One of the three officers injured in the gunman’s shooting was hospitalized Wednesday as investigators reconfigured the operation, which lasted more than 20 minutes on city streets, firing on officers from a moving vehicle carrying the gunman.
The driver of the vehicle was also at the hospital after being shot by police at a corner in front of a police station, where the chase ended.
No passersby were hit by the flying bullets, which authorities said were significant.
Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the chase began around 7pm when a motorist pulled into traffic suddenly left the vehicle. When the police chase, the speed of the car slows down to let someone out. After the passenger got out, shots started coming from the car.
On the radio transmission, captured by Broadcastify.com, officers followed and called the vehicle’s location and sounded the alarm.
“Currently shooting at officers again … shooting at officers,” one sender was heard to say.
One officer was injured. Another, in a different vehicle, was injured enough to require surgery. A third officer in the other vehicle was shot but escaped with serious injuries due to the bulletproof vest.
At one point, the sender was repeatedly heard on the radio telling officers to “follow up!” But the chase either continues or starts again.
A video posted on social media by an eyewitness shows the end of the chase: Officers took a defensive stance with weapons and sent multiple volley shots to a person not seen in a car or camera.
Leslie Thomas, 64, who lives in an apartment overlooking the scene, was watching the news when she heard what had happened.
“I heard about 10 shots. I said, ‘What’s going on?’ I didn’t think it was a shot but it kept repeating and repeating so I ran to my window, “he said. He saw countless police cars, lights flashing, and four police officers dragging a man out of a car and handcuffing him. He was seen falling on the street where he was surrounded by several other officers.
Police spokesman Michael Diorz said Wednesday that two officers from Erie County Medical Center had been treated and released.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told a news conference at the hospital on Tuesday night that “it was a very shameful situation with a suspect firing at police officers from a car … a very, very dangerous situation.”
In addition to the injured suspect, another was taken into custody, authorities said.
Police did not name the arrested persons or officers.
Associated Press writers Jennifer Peltz and Dipti Hazela contributed from New York City.