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Niagara County DA: Niagara Falls police officers who shot man on June 3 will not face any charges

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Posted at 1:11 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 13:11:24-04

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Niagara County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday that the Niagara Falls police officers who shot a man on June 3 will not face any charges.

According to the district attorney's office, a Niagara County grand jury determined that Lt. Joseph Scibilia and officer Gregory Paul "were justified in their use of force" on June 3 when they shot 29-year-old Reginald Barnes.

"The grand jury determined that the level of force used was in accordance with the law given the circumstances the officers faced. Neither officer will face any charges whatsoever," a release says.

The alleged incident occurred on June 3 behind the Rite Aid at 80th Street and Niagara Falls Boulevard as police responded to a call for a suspicious person. When officers approached Barnes he allegedly tried to get away and officers then used a taser, which they said had no effect. At that time, officials said the suspect pulled a knife from his pocket, charged at officers, and allegedly stabbed an officer in his back. The suspect then allegedly attacked a second officer and another responding officer shot him.

The officer who was stabbed had minor injuries to his back and arm. Barnes was taken to ECMC and was in the ICU, he has since been released from the ICU but remained hospitalized as of June 17.

Niagara Falls police released body camera video of the incident on June 7.

The grand jury also returned an indictment charging Barnes with:

  • Aggravated family offense
  • Resisting arrest
  • Third-degree criminal possession of a weapon
  • Two counts of attempted aggravated assault on a police officer

Barnes was arraigned Tuesday and held without bail.