Put it this way, would this happen in a white neighborhood?
It's an old article but still relevant.
Police hunt suspects in cop shooting
By Rick Pfeiffer
“It’s terrible, just terrible,” Taffy Confer said.
The young mother stood outside her home in the 2200 block of Pierce Avenue and just shook her head. She was trying to understand how a hail of gunfire broke out just a few doors down Monday night, leaving a Falls Police officer wounded and a robbery suspect dead.
“This neighborhood is pretty quiet from 22nd Street down,” Confer said. “There are lots of kids in the neighborhood, and everybody watches out for each other. Everyone is really nice.”
However, inside the ordinary looking home at 2234 Pierce Ave., its front lawn decorated with a Christmas display, something not very nice was going on.
The home had been the scene of a raid by federal drug agents in April. A resident of the home was arrested at that time and charged with a drug-related offense.
Just before 10:30 p.m. Monday, a 911 call came into to police dispatchers, the caller claiming a burglary was underway at that address. Officers Charles Fink and Robert Gee arrived on the scene, almost simultaneously.
“As Officer Fink exited his patrol car, he saw three masked men come out the side door of the house,” Falls Police Detective Capt. Ernest Palmer said. “One was armed with a shotgun.”
The shotgun-toting suspect wheeled and fired two blasts at Fink and Gee. Fink was hit in the left shoulder and in his bullet-proof vest. Gee was not hit, but told detectives he felt the blast from the shotgun and the pellets whizzing past his head.
“Fink went down and called out that he’d been hit,” Palmer said.
The police radio crackled with calls of “shots fired” and then “officer down.”
Gee immediately returned fire at the suspects using his department-issued .40 caliber Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol. At least one of the seven shots he fired found its mark. As the suspects fled north, through the alley behind the Pierce Avenue home, the shotgun-carrying man fell to the ground.
The other two suspects got away in what police believe was a 2002-2003 blue Dodge Durango SUV. The wounded suspect, identified as Jamar Mack, 21, from the Buffalo area, was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Mack was on parole for his conviction for falsely reporting an armed robbery in Buffalo in October 2002. Buffalo Police Officer James Shields was killed while responding to that call.
Investigators believe robbery was on Mack’s and his accomplices’ minds when they showed up at the Pierce Avenue home.
“It was more a robbery than a burglary,” Palmer said. “Typically in these cases, they are looking for drugs or money.”
Though Fink was wounded, he quickly radioed that he was not badly hurt. He was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, where he was treated and released.
“There was a wound near the shoulder strap on his vest,” Palmer said, “and a heavy hit in the center of the vest. There’s no doubt the vest played a role in protecting Officer Fink.”
Neither Fink nor Gee were available to speak with reporters. Both have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.
“It’s pretty standard procedure,” Palmer said, “for them to be debriefed and get clearance before returning to work.”
Fink is a nine-year veteran of the police force. Gee has been on the force for 34 years and spent 12 years as the department’s chief firearms instructor.
Niagara County District Attorney Matthew J. Murphy III said a grand jury inquiry into the shootings was likely.
“I haven’t seen the reports yet for this case, so I haven’t made that decision,” Murphy said. “We sometimes do that just to reassure the public that everything was done properly.”
In addition to recovering a black, pistol grip, pump-action shotgun, found lying next to Mack’s body, investigators also found a .25 caliber pistol just inside the doorway of the Pierce Avenue home. Palmer said it’s not clear how that gun got there.
Detectives are still looking for additional leads in their efforts to find the two suspects who escaped. They are being assisted by the Buffalo Police Department’s Major Crimes Squad.
“We have no named suspects yet, but we have plenty of leads,” Palmer said. “But we are still asking for the public’s assistance.”
Police are particularly interested in the suspected getaway car, which was last seen speeding east on Willow Avenue.
The last time a Falls Police officer was shot was in November 1976. That officer was also responding to a burglary call, and recovered from his wound.
“We had a feeling that something like this was coming for some time,” Palmer said, “ These young guys, with powerful rifles, running around, sticking them in people’s faces, I don’t know that these guys have any respect for life.”
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Cassandra Peterson was surprised to find out that the outlines on the sidewalk outside her Willow Avenue apartment were associated with the home invasion suspect shot and killed by Falls police.