BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Three Buffalo police officers are recovering after they were shot during a high speed chase.
The incident started just before 6 p.m. Tuesday when officers approached what they called a “suspicious vehicle” at the foot of Ferry.
According to Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, as soon as the driver – who police have since identified as 28-year-old Kente Bell – handed over his ID, he took off.
The high speed chase took police throughout the entire City of Buffalo. Bell allegedly went from Niagara Street to NY-198, shooting at officers during that time.
Gramaglia said the three officers, who were all in separate vehicles, were shot in different areas during the chase.
Officer Trevor Sheehan, who has been on the force for seven years, was shot on Bailey Avenue in the arm. His ear was also grazed by a bullet. He was treated and released from ECMC Tuesday night.
Officer Christopher Wilson, who has been on the force for four years, was shot in the chest in his bulletproof vest on Genesee Street. He was also treated and released.
Officer Joseph McCarthy, who has five years on the force, was shot in the stomach after the chase came to an end on Fillmore and East Ferry. McCarthy remains at ECMC after undergoing surgery. He is expected to be OK.
Gramaglia said the entire chase lasted 40 minutes, with all five of the city’s police districts involved.
“The pursuit, at that point, was within policy. Of course it’s dangerous; it has to be monitored,” Gramaglia said. “You also have to keep in mind we have an individual that is discharging a firearm while he is driving a car indiscriminately, and we have a duty to protect the citizens as well as our police officers.”
Gramaglia said he believes the chase came to an end after Bell crashed his car, but the gunfire continued. Bell was also shot, he underwent surgery Tuesday night at ECMC and remains in critical condition.
Bell has been charged with three counts of attempted murder of a police officer in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon. Police tell us they recovered a handgun from his car. He has been on probation for illegal possession of a firearm out of the Town of Amherst since 2020.
Gramaglia said due to how far the chase spanned, there are 19 crime scenes. The investigation is ongoing.
Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.