Cheektowaga Police released video Wednesday morning that shows an officer involved shooting that ended with the death of a Wyoming County man.
Be aware: Some viewers may find the video with this story disturbing
Police released dash cam video and video from the Best Western Hotel where the shooting took place. The shooting happened late at night on March 5th in the parking lot of the Genesee Street hotel. Darrel Bosell, 34, from the Town of Java, was shot and killed.
In the video, you can see Bosell look down the hallway of the hotel with the gun in his hand. Later, as he approaches the police officer's patrol car, you can see the gun in his hand. Police say Bosell pointed the gun at the officer's head and tried to open the patrol car's door.
Police say Bosell stole a handgun from a home in Wyoming County. They were called by State Police, who believed Bosell was in the Cheektowaga area and armed with a stolen .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun. State Police also believed Bosell was severely agitated and had been drinking.
Police had Bosell's cell phone number and called him several times. They could not determine his exact location until they tracked the "ping" from his phone. When an officer arrived at the hotel, police say he saw Bosell walking through the parking lot and clearly holding a handgun.
The police chief says the officer's dash-cam video clearly shows Bosell with the gun and that he "aggressively approached" the officer, who was still in his patrol vehicle. That was when the officer fired two shots, hitting Bosell in the chest. Bosell was later pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital. Police say the entire incident lasted less than 30 seconds.
"I don't think there is any question that the officer involved in this occurrence had any choice but to defend himself," said Cheektowaga Police Chief David Zack.
"He had a second to respond to someone pointing a semi-automatic at him," said Tom Burton, the attorney representing the officer in this case.
Burton says under New York State Law, the use of force was absolutely justified. Burton says Bosell got so close to the officer's patrol car, he pointed the gun through the window and at the officer's head. He says the officer had no other option but to shoot.
"He didn't have many options, there were no tactical options."
Authorities are not yet releasing the name of the officer involved, who is a 16-year veteran of the department. He is currently on paid administrative leave. "He's one of the best we have," said Cheektowaga Police Chief David Zack.
The following statement was sent to 7 Eyewitness News from the attorney representing the Bosell family:
“On behalf of Mrs. Bosell, her children, and family, we would like to thank the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department, the Wyoming County Dispatchers, the New York State Police, and the Cheektowaga Police Department for their service and professionalism during this difficult time. We are grateful that no officer was hurt. We pray for the responding officer and his family, that he will be able to return to his job and serve his community soon. The Bosell family needs time to heal and respectfully request their privacy at this time.”
Police chief Zack says this incident is a terrible tragedy, and that the force feels badly for the man killed and the officer involved.