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Legal expert weighs in on AG's office investigation of Buffalo officer-involved shooting

Posted at 11:23 PM, May 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 23:23:56-04

There are many questions that surround an officer-involved shooting from Sunday.

Where is the gun that police say shot 31-year-old Buffalo Police Officer Joe Acquino?

Who shot and killed the suspect, 26-year-old Jose Hernandez-Rossy, and where and why was Rossy stopped by Buffalo Police in the beginning on Sunday around 5 p.m. in the Black Rock neighborhood?

These are all the questions the New York State Attorney General’s Office must now answer.

“The big question is, where is this weapon? Obviously it didn’t disintegrate into thin air, so where did it go? And an investigation involving a police officer who was shot and a police officer who did the shooting, they’re going to turn everything over, look at everything and try and find this weapon,” said 7 Eyewitness News legal expert Florina Altshiller.

Altshiller says the attorney general’s office is getting involved to avoid any potential bias.

Sources close to the investigation say the attorney general’s office is getting involved because there are significant questions regarding whether or not Hernandez-Rossy was armed. No gun has been recovered so far and multiple eyewitnesses tell the suspect’s attorney that Hernandez-Rossy never displayed a gun.

“The information that I’ve been given by two witnesses say they saw no gun in Mr. Hernandez’s hands,” says Nelson Torre, lawyer for the family.

“We expect them to take over the investigation, look into every statement that was obtained, the evidence that was obtained, start directing that investigation, review the autopsy results, review ballistics and review the science,” said Altshiller.

On Tuesday, Buffalo Police officers scoured the Black Rock neighborhood where the altercation took place, even bringing in Buffalo Firefighters with ladders to search gutters and rooftops for the missing weapon.

“We have preliminary information right now and that incident remains under investigation,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

Buffalo Police have issued a statement regarding 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."

7 Eyewitness News has learned the autopsy performed on Hernandez-Rossy has been completed, but those findings have not been made public.

Officer Acquino has been discharged from Erie County Medical Center and is home recovering.