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Police open fire on suspect, who dragged officer

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Posted at 5:55 PM, Nov 23, 2014
and last updated 2015-11-18 17:55:22-05

When police say a shoplifting suspect fled the scene in his vehicle, an officer was being dragged. His fellow officers, fearing for their comrade's life, opened fire.

Amherst Police were called around 9:45 p.m. Sunday to the Walmart store on Sheridan Drive. Police say Ronald Kerling, 33, of Buffalo was attempting to flee and was identified by witnesses. A foot chase ensued.

Police say Kerling made it to his vehicle where a struggle began with an officer, during which Kerling was able to start his vehicle and drive off, dragging the officer through the parking lot. Fearing for his life, officers fired on the vehicle. The officer being dragged was able to disentangle himself and police say Kerling fled.

During this encounter, Officer Corey Brown was accidentally struck by a responding patrol car. He was on foot at the time moving to help the officer being dragged. Both officers were taken to ECMC, where Officer Brown was admitted with serious injuries. The officer who was dragged was treated and released. He was not identified.

With tips from the public, detectives were able to arrest Kerling early Sunday morning on Keystone Street in Buffalo. He has been charged with first degree reckless endangerment, petit larceny, resisting arrest, reckless driving and unlawfully fleeing a police officer.

Kerline\g, who police say has an extensive criminal history and is currently out on parole for a felony conviction, is being held in the Erie County Holding Center without bail.