BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A holdup, a chase, and a struggle - police say it all happenedin a matter of minutes, and when it ended, the suspect wasdead.
The police commissioner called it a struggle between life anddeath. At one point, the officer desperately called for help.
Friday night, he is recovering from his injuries and the23-year-old suspect, identified by police as Mathew Connors, isdead.
Police say Connors was armed with a gun when he walked into theSeneca Pharmacy in Buffalo. The attempted robbery happened at 4:00Friday afternoon. But the young man didn't leave with any cash.
Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson said, "I knowthat there was a great deal of contraband, I think a lot ofnarcotics."
Seneca Pharmacy is where Pat Grochmal usually comes to fill hervalid prescriptions.
Grochmal said, "I was going to come to this pharmacy thisafternoon to pick up my prescriptions, but something told me not tocome here."
Employees were able to write down the suspect's license platewhen he left the pharmacy. They dialed 9-1-1 and police trackeddown the suspect's vehicle to his house on Eagle Street. An officerthen followed him to the second floor which is where he lives.
Gipson said, "A fight ensued and the officer was pretty muchfighting for his life. He was being hit on the head and the handswith the butt of the gun, and the officer was pretty muchexhausted, 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 anaccidental shooting.
Gipson said, "You're struggling and you're fighting for yourlife and you manage to get your weapon out and you think he's got agun, he's gonna knock you out and kill you."
Mary Smigiel heard the police sirens and rushed over to see whathad happened.
Smigiel said, "It's too close to home; too much stuffhappening around here."
A police officer is recovering and a robbery suspect is deadfollowing what police call a "life or death struggle" Fridayafternoon.
Buffalo Police say the incident stemmed from a robbery at SenecaPharmacy, 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 intothe pharmacy with a gun, demanding narcotics.
The suspect left shortly afterwards. Employees of the pharmacynoted 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 thesuspect was dead on top of the officer.
No one else was injured during the incident.
Buffalo Police are currently on the scene of a shootinginvolving a police officer on East Eagle Street.
Witnesses tell News 4 a man held up the Seneca Pharmacy at gunpoint and officers traced the vehicle back to a home on EastEagle.
Neighbors say they then heard shots fired.
News 4 will have the story live on News 4 at 6 will have updatesas they become available.
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