BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A man shot last week by two Buffalo police officers after he charged at them with a knife was arraigned Tuesday afternoon at Erie County Medical Center, District Attorney John Flynn said.
Dominique Thomas, 30, was charged with two counts of menacing a police officer, which is a class D felony, Flynn said.
“It is, quite frankly, crystal clear that both officers had justification for discharging their weapons,” Flynn said.
Officers were called to the 1900 block of Hertel Avenue around 4:30 a.m. last Monday, where they said there was a man armed with a knife.
Body cam footage released by police showed officers initially encountering Thomas in a stairwell. They repeatedly asked him to put down the knife. As the situation made its way outside, Thomas refused to put down the weapon and eventually charged at officers. Two officers fired repeatedly, bringing Thomas down in the street.
Police said last week that the officers were not armed with Tasers at the time of the incident. They added that Thomas has been in contact with authorities in the past regarding mental health issues.
Flynn said Thomas was struck six times by gunfire and was hit in the jaw, upper shoulder, hand, leg and foot. He has been in ECMC since the incident.
“He appears to be doing better, but he is still in the hospital,” Flynn said.
Buffalo police last week identified the officers who fired their weapons as Phillip Edwards, a seven-year veteran, and Michael Ramos, hired in January 2020.
Flynn said in the news conference that officers asked him not to charge Thomas with a crime.
“They obviously recognized he was under a mental health crisis. And they were like, hey, why charge the guy? He obviously needs help. And I agree with that,” Flynn said. “But I have to charge him. Just because, he committed a crime, and I need to get him a forensic (evaluation); I need to get him in the system … and then I can decided what to do with him going forward.”
This is a breaking news story, check back for updates
Previous updates in this story:
- Man with knife shot by Buffalo police on Hertel Avenue
- Officers, man with knife from Hertel shooting identified
- Watch: Buffalo police share body cam video from Hertel shooting
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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here