Updated: Saturday, 08 Aug 2009, 8:16 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 07 Aug 2009, 5:38 PM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A holdup, a chase, and a struggle - police say it all happened in a matter of minutes, and when it ended, the suspect was dead.
The police commissioner called it a struggle between life and death. At one point, the officer desperately called for help.
Friday night, he is recovering from his injuries and the 23-year-old suspect, identified by police as Mathew Connors, is dead.
Police say Connors was armed with a gun when he walked into the Seneca Pharmacy in Buffalo. The attempted robbery happened at 4:00 Friday afternoon. But the young man didn't leave with any cash.
Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson said, "I know that there was a great deal of contraband, I think a lot of narcotics."
Seneca Pharmacy is where Pat Grochmal usually comes to fill her valid prescriptions.
Grochmal said, "I was going to come to this pharmacy this afternoon to pick up my prescriptions, but something told me not to come here."
Employees were able to write down the suspect's license plate when he left the pharmacy. They dialed 9-1-1 and police tracked down the suspect's vehicle to his house on Eagle Street. An officer then followed him to the second floor which is where he lives.
Gipson said, "A fight ensued and the officer was pretty much fighting for his life. He was being hit on the head and the hands with the butt of the gun, and the officer was pretty much exhausted, screaming for help."
The police commissioner says the officer's gun discharged, leaving him injured and the suspect dead. He tells News 4 it was an accidental shooting.
Gipson said, "You're struggling and you're fighting for your life and you manage to get your weapon out and you think he's got a gun, he's gonna knock you out and kill you."
Mary Smigiel heard the police sirens and rushed over to see what
Smigiel said, "It's too close to home; too much stuff happening around here."
A police officer is recovering and a robbery suspect is dead following what police call a "life or death struggle" Friday afternoon.
Buffalo Police say the incident stemmed from a robbery at Seneca Pharmacy, on Seneca Street, about 4:00 p.m. Friday.
The officer, James Reese is a veteran on the force.
According to police, 23-year-old Matthew Connors, walked into the pharmacy with a gun, demanding narcotics.
The suspect left shortly afterwards. Employees of the pharmacy noted the license plate number of the car they saw leaving the lot. Police traced the vehicle to a house on East Eagle Street.
Police say Connors walked into the upstairs part of his house, and got involved in a struggle with Officer Reese.
During the incident, a weapon fired. Police say after that the suspect was dead on top of the officer.
No one else was injured during the incident.
Buffalo Police are currently on the scene of a shooting involving a police officer on East Eagle Street.
Witnesses tell News 4 a man held up the Seneca Pharmacy at gun point and officers traced the vehicle back to a home on East Eagle.
Neighbors say they then heard shots fired.
News 4 will have the story live on News 4 at 6 will have updates as they become available.