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A.G. takes over officer-involved shooting investigation

Posted at 6:37 PM, May 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-10 12:28:43-04

UPDATE (5/10): Erie County District Attorney John Flynn addressed the current investigation into Sunday's officer-involved shooting in Buffalo's Black Rock neighborhood. Flynn says there is now significant question into whether or not Jose Hernandez-Rossy was armed during the incident.

Flynn says as a result of an executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo's office, the New York State Attorney General will now handle the investigation. 

Executive Order 147 states that the New York State Attorney General serves as a special prosecutor when an unarmed civilian is killed by law enforcement officers. Flynn says the Erie County District Attorney's office will no longer comment on the investigation, especially concerning matters of evidence in the case.

Balloons and a candle mark where suspect, 26-year-old Jose Hernandez-Rossy was fatally shot on Sunday. Family members placed them at the scene Tuesday. Each told 7 Eyewitness News they have questions surrounding his death. “We do not know. We do not know what led to the stop and subsequent shooting,” said Hernandez-Rossy’s cousin, Katherine Garcia.

According to police, it happened after Hernandez-Rossy was pulled over in a traffic stop. Police said he shot Buffalo Police Officer Joseph Acquino during a struggle. But, his family said he didn't own a gun. “He never brought anything like that around me, never, anything like that,” Garcia said. “I don't believe what happened because he's not that type of person. So, for a traffic stop to lead to his death I don't understand.”

So we took the family's claims to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.
Ali Touhey: Does the city stand by the idea that the suspect first shot at the police officer and that's how things evolved from there?
Mayor Brown: We have preliminary info right now. We are investigating. The incident is under investigation.

The NYS Attorney General’s Special Investigation and Prosecution Unit has opened an investigation. According to the office, “we’re committed to conducting an independent, comprehensive, and fair investigation.”

Buffalo Police have released a statement on the investigation:

"Buffalo police have been and will continue to fully cooperate with the investigation by the State Attorney General's office. As the investigation continues anyone with information is asked to contact authorities."

Meantime, Officer Acquino, who the Mayor said came within an inch of a much different outcome, was released from ECMC late Tuesday.  There’s no word if or when he might return to work.