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Armed man shot by police on Hertel Ave. charged with menacing, officers involved cleared

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Posted at 4:18 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 16:18:09-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The man shown on body camera video being shot by police officers after lunging at them with a knife has been charged with two counts of menacing.

Dominique Thomas, 30, of Buffalo continues to recover at Erie County Medical Center following the incident, which happened on the morning of Monday, March 14.

The two officers who fired at Thomas have been cleared. In a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn called the officers' actions justified.

The Buffalo Police Department released body camera video from one of the officers last week. Flynn says the release of the video came at his encouragement.

The video shows officers approaching Thomas inside a stairwell of a building on Hertel Avenue. The officers leave the building after failed verbal requests that Thomas disarm himself. After leaving the building, Thomas is seen in the video walking down the stairs and out of the building. Officers continue to back up into the street, with Thomas following. Officers can be heard repeatedly asking Thomas to put the knife down. Thomas then runs toward the officers with the knife. He was shot six times by two officers.

Flynn says Thomas was shot six times, with injuries to his jaw, upper shoulder or neck area, hand, leg and foot.

Thomas was arraigned on Tuesday at ECMC on the charges in connection to the shooting. He was also arraigned on charges in connection to a separate incident. Flynn says Thomas had an outstanding warrant for his arrest following an August 2020 incident in which Thomas is accused of threatening a doctor at ECMC after receiving treatment there. The district attorney says Thoms missed three scheduled arraignment appearances in that case.

For both sets of charges, Thomas is being held pending a forensic mental health examination. The cases against him are expected to move forward on April 6, but may be delayed pending the examination.