Kente Bell charged with 5 counts of attempted murder of a police officer after shootout during chase
0:00 - Officer Rogowski (Traffic Stop)
2:22 - Officer Perez (Traffic Stop)
4:29 - Map
4:53 - Officer Perez (Hangs out window)
5:22 - Officer Nagy (Chase)
13:26 - Officer Nagy (Bullet holes through windshield)
15:49 - Officer Grande
16:17 - Officer Davidson
16:35 - Officer Wilson
End Of Pursuit/Shootings
17:26 - Officer Davidson
17:55 - Officer Kessler
19:15 - Officer Baggott
20:39 - Officer Torres
23:05 - Officer Johnson
24:54 - Lieutenant Baker
The wild crosstown chase in March that left three Buffalo police officers and a suspect wounded started at a parking lot at the foot of West Ferry Street when patrol officers stopped to talk to the driver of an SUV because of his tinted windows.
It started calmly as the driver handed over his license and remained so even as the officers told him his registration was suspended due to his lapsed insurance.
The driver, Kente Q. Bell, told the officers he could not get out of his car because of an injury from 10 years earlier in a shooting. Then he suddenly drove off, and the officers chased after him in their patrol car.
"I knew that was [expletive] coming," Officer Chelsea Rogowski can be heard saying on her body camera video, part of which was released Friday.
By department policy, the officers shouldn't have chased Bell when he fled, Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Friday.
"The pursuit at that point should not have been engaged," he said.
Within two minutes of the chase, Bell's passenger, a woman, bailed out of the vehicle on Niagara Street and Bell allegedly opened fire on police.
"That changed the game at that point and that made the pursuit within policy," Gramaglia said.
These are the factors police will examine now as part of an internal investigation now that Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn Jr. has cleared all 16 officers who discharged their weapons during the chase. While the officers were cleared of any criminal conduct, Bell was indicted on five counts of attempted murder for firing at police officers during the chase.
On Friday, Buffalo police released a video that compiled more than 30 minutes of footage from the body cameras of nine police officers who were involved in the chase. Afterward, Gramaglia spoke to reporters about the incident.
The video included footage of officers firing their handguns from their vehicles as they chased Bell and also at the conclusion of the chase at the corner of East Ferry Street and Fillmore Avenue. There, multiple officers repeatedly fired their weapons into Bell's vehicle as it came to a stop in a vacant lot on the corner.
Bell was shot multiple times and taken to Erie County Medical Center. Police said they found his gun, which had a large capacity magazine, in his lap.
"This is not a normal situation," Gramaglia said of the chase.
The department released the names of those who discharged their weapons: officers Liam Baggott, John Davidson, Jake Giarrano, Robert Grande, Elnur Karadzhayez, Taylor Kessler, Giovanni Massimi, Brian Nagy, Michael Norwood, Elaina Perez, Roberto Torres and Nicholas Johnson; detectives Tina Ferraro and Marlin Hall; and lieutenants Patrick Baker and Vincent Judge.
The 16 officers remained on paid administrative leave as internal affairs conducted its probe. Gramaglia said that the department hasn't reached any conclusions about the conduct of the officers yet but that the scenario will be included in future trainings. There are several aspects of the chase that police are investigating in terms of whether policies were broken.
Gramaglia confirmed that police officers who were involved in the first part of the chase put the woman who bailed out of Bell's car into their patrol car and then continued on the chase.
"In that case, that should have stopped right there. It should not have continued. That's part of the internal probe we are looking at," he said.
Also, officers fired from their vehicles.
One video showed bullet holes in the windshield of a vehicle that was being driven by Karadzhayez. Officer Christopher Wilson was in the passenger seat.
"I'm hit," Wilson can be heard saying on his body camera.
"We're heading to ECMC. My partner is hit," Karadzhayez is then heard saying.
Police now believe Wilson was struck by a shell casing when Karadzhayez fired through the windshield.
"It was a very chaotic situation at that time that led him to believe that he had in fact been struck by something," Gramaglia said Friday.
Officer Joseph McCarthy was shot in the lower abdomen as police fired at Bell near East Ferry and Fillmore. McCarthy was released from the hospital after nine days. Police now say it's possible he was hit by friendly fire.
Officer Trevor Sheehan was shot in the side of the ear and bicep at Bailey Avenue and Langfield Drive.
There is no footage from Sheehan or McCarthy, police said.
The video also included footage from Nagy during the pursuit. The video can't be seen through part of the footage because his seat belt covered the camera, but the audio worked. Numerous bursts of gunshots can be heard.
"He's going into Cheektowaga," he said. Police have previously described how the chase went from West Buffalo, across on the Kensington Expressway, and throughout East Buffalo and at one point going into Cheektowaga before returning back into Buffalo.
"Be careful what you're doing here," Nagy told the officer driving. "... I see a gun on him. Just be smart. Everybody needs to be smart right now."
They later appear to ram the back of the suspect's vehicle before finally stopping.