BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Erie County District Attorney’s office says a man who was shot by Buffalo police will spend two years in prison after running toward them with a knife.
In March 2022, police responded to an apartment building on Hertel Avenue after Dominique Thomas, 32, called them saying someone was threatening to kill him, according to the District Attorney’s office.
As police responded early that morning, they said Thomas was holding a knife in the stairwell, refusing to put it down. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia previously said that it appeared Thomas was suffering from a mental health crisis. It was not his first interaction with Buffalo police, Gramaglia said.
Eventually, in an attempt to de-escalate the situation, police backed out of the apartment and into the street while speaking with Thomas, who officials say continued to move toward them with the knife.
“When the defendant ran toward an officer with the knife in hand, he was subsequently shot multiple times by the two of the police officers,” the District Attorney’s office said.
The two officers had joined the Buffalo Police Department in 2015 and 2020. No officers were injured, but Thomas was treated for his injuries at ECMC.
Following a review of the incident, it was determined by the District Attorney’s office that the officers, who were not armed with stun guns, were justified in shooting Thomas. So, they were not charged with any crimes.
Thomas’ two-year prison sentence comes after admitting to a felony count of menacing a police officer or peace officer this past August. In addition to prison, he will also spend two years under post-release supervision.
Prior to being sentenced, Thomas had faced a maximum of seven years in prison.