BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo police on Wednesday released body cam footage from the officer-involved shooting on Hertel Avenue early Monday morning.
You can watch the footage in the video player above. The video is graphic.
Officers were called to the 1900 block of Hertel Avenue around 4:30 a.m. Monday, where they said there was a man armed with a knife. Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said in a press conference Monday that during the incident, two police officers shot the man multiple times.
The shooting victim was said to be stable but in serious condition at ECMC. He was identified Tuesday as Dominique Thomas, 30, of Buffalo. Police said charges against him were pending and that he has come in contact with police in the past regarding issues that are mental-health related.
In fact, according to police, Thomas last Wednesday called for a voluntary transport to ECMC. The hospital, because of privacy laws, cannot talk further about the treatment he received and why he was released.
The video 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 gave another update on Thomas’ condition Wednesday saying he remains in serious but stable condition at ECMC.
One officer appears distraught at the end of the video and can be seen throwing his hat and punching the police cruiser.
The officers who fired their weapons were identified as Phillip Edwards, who has been part of the BPD since January 2015, and Michael Ramos, who was hired in January 2020.
Gramaglia said Monday that Thomas appeared to be suffering from a mental health crisis during the incident. The officers did not have stun guns at the time of the incident, he added.
Gramaglia was asked Wednesday if having Tasers would have made a difference in the outcome of the incident. The department is in the process of deploying tasers to officers. The officers who responded to the Hertel Ave. scene didn’t have tasers, according to police.
“Maybe,” Gramaglia said. “I’m not going to say they would, I’m not going to say they wouldn’t. Would I like to have a Taser in that situation? Absolutely. Would I like to have an opportunity to [use] BolaWrap in that situation? Absolutely. That’s why the city has invested the amount of money that they have in these less-lethal options.
“The fact remains that we had to operate with what we had at the time. Those officers in D District on the midnight shift had not yet received the training. There are set times for the training. Like I said, we are rapidly pushing that training out. It takes a while to train hundreds of officers in the department. All five districts have Tasers out in use, and as soon as they are trained, the individual officers will be carrying a Taser.”
News 4 has requested all body camera video related to the shooting, but police have denied that request, saying it would be too time consuming to go through all the video and make redactions, which is why a shorter clip was released.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.