BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — One of the Buffalo police officers who was shot last week has been released from Erie County Medical Center.
On the night of March 29, Joseph McCarthy was struck in the abdomen by a bullet police say was fired after a lengthy chase had come to an end. After it happened, McCarthy had to be taken to the hospital for two surgeries.
After spending more than a week there, he was released Thursday morning. Dr. Jeff Brewer, a trauma surgeon at ECMC, says McCarthy is expected to be fully recovered “within a month or so.”
(Watch below as McCarthy is released from the hospital.)
“Obviously today is a great day, we’re very pleased that Officer McCarthy is going home to continue his journey on healing he obviously wanted to get home and he wishes to express his sincere gratitude to all the hospital staff, all his well-wishers, the nurses, everybody, the doctors who took care of him, to get him to the point where he is today that he was able to go home,” said Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.
The other two officers who were shot were identified as Christopher Wilson and Trevor Sheehan. Wilson’s bulletproof vest took the brunt of the damage when he was shot in the chest, but Sheehan needed surgery. He was struck in the left bicep and ear.
Sheehan was also outside ECMC in support of McCarthy.
Doctors say they had concerns about numerous patients, possibly needing treatment after the shooting.
“It’s always hectic when you have gunshots come in, especially when there’s officers involved initially we had concerns that there were multiple injured patients coming in at the same time, so fortunately him and his alleged assailant were the only two that needed surgery,” Dr. Brewer said.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says the chase began after two officers approached 28-year-old Kente Bell’s vehicle on Ferry Street due to its tinted windows.
After being asked to get out of the vehicle, Flynn says Bell told the officers he could not due to being partially paralyzed as the result of a 2012 shooting.
Bell eventually sped off, officials say, leading officers on a chase that crossed into Cheektowaga. It came to an end near Fillmore Avenue and E. Ferry Street.
Since the incident, Bell and another suspect have been arrested. Bell, who was shot by police, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and three counts of attempted murder of a police officer.
At the time, Bell was on probation for a gun possession charge out of Amherst.
In addition to the injuries suffered during this incident, Gramaglia says nine police vehicles were struck by gunfire. In all, 19 crime scenes had to be processed, Gramaglia says.
And according to the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, 16 officers were put on administrative leave after firing their weapons. As part of the Buffalo Police Department’s protocol, an officer must be placed on administrative leave after discharging their gun.
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Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.