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Man facing several charges after he led Buffalo police on high-speed pursuit in March

Erie County DA clears officers of any criminal wrongdoing for actions during pursuit
Posted at 4:44 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 17:31:17-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Buffalo man is facing several charges after he led Buffalo police on a high-speed pursuit in March.

The Erie County District Attorney's Office announced that 28-year-old Kente Bell was arraigned Wednesday in Erie County Court on an indictment charging him with the following:

  • Five counts of first-degree attempted murder
  • One count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon
  • One count of first-degree reckless endangerment
  • One count of third-degree unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle

On March 29 Bell and three Buffalo police officers were shot during a pursuit that stretched across the city.

According to the district attorney's office, police were on routine patrol and observed a vehicle with tinted windows on East Ferry and the officers ran the plates and determined Bell had a suspended registration.

Police allegedly attempted a traffic stop in Broderick Park and Bell allegedly took off triggering a pursuit that went through the city, including on Route 198 and Route 33.

The district attorney's office said Bell is accused of attempting to cause the death of the responding officers by firing shots from an illegal pistol on:

  • Austin Street near Kail Street
  • Bailey Avenue near Langfield Avenue
  • Bailey Avenue near Arden Avenue
  • Fillmore Avenue and Genesee Street
  • East Ferry Street near Fillmore Avenue

According to the district attorney's office, one officer who was sitting in the passenger seat of a patrol vehicle near Bailey Avenue and Langfield Avenue was shot in the arm.

The pursuit ended in the area of East Ferry Street and Fillmore Avenue when Bell crashed his vehicle into a billboard pole. Bell allegedly continued to fire shots when the chase ended and Buffalo police allegedly returned fire and injured Bell. He was transported to ECMC where he was treated for injuries to his hand, shoulder and lower extremities. He remains in custody at ECMC.

The three officers that were shot were identified as Trevor Sheehan, Christopher Wilson and Joseph McCarthy. Sheehan has been with BPD for seven years, Wilson for four years and McCarthy for five years. The district attorney's office said it was determined only one of the officers was shot by Bell, and the other two were struck by friendly police fire.

There were allegedly a minimum of 14 shots fired by Bell and approximately 16 Buffalo police officers fired their weapons during the course of the entire incident. According to Erie County DA John Flynn, the number of shots fired by police was "numerous" and he could not put a number on it although most occurred toward the end of the incident.

Flynn said on some occasions "common sense was not used" by police, but after an investigation "the actions of the police officers who fired their weapon were justified. The Buffalo Police officers have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing."

Bell is scheduled to return on July 25 for a pre-trial conference and continues to remain held without bail. If convicted of the highest charges he faces a maximum of 40 years to life in prison.