Surveillance video shows part of officer-involved shooting

Posted at 11:44 PM, Sep 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-17 23:44:34-04

A single chair remains in the parking lot of P.S. 77 Monday evening in memory of Rafael "Pito" Rivera.
Last Wednesday, this scene was dramatically different.

Pito was killed in that parking lot by 2-year-veteran buffalo police officer Elnur Karadzhaev after a brief chase.

New surveillance video -- viewed by 7 Eyewitness News -- paints a frame by frame view of what happened.

"We viewed the video together in this very room and the family saw what i saw which is somebody running away from the police," Cohen said.

The whole video runs about thirty minutes. The part of the chase -- and the shooting -- lasts around ten seconds.
At 3:14:11 a.m. Pito comes into view from the right hand side wearing a red shirt, dark pants and white shoes. Two officers are in pursuit.
At 3:14:12, Pito seemingly trips on a curb and falls down.  He then proceeds to crawl on the ground near a sewer grate.Pito appears to be trying to put something in his hand down the grate.
By 3:14:19 Pito gets up and a second later, one of the two officers, who's now flanked to Pito's right side, is seen shooting the suspect. Two flashes appear. Pito drops to the ground and a shiny object is seen thrown across the parking lot out of Pito's hands.
Officers say they recovered a weapon at the scene.

"It appears that there was no reason whatsoever to shoot and kill him," Cohen said.

BPD Captain Jeff Rinaldo released this statement:

Our preliminary investigation has shown that in the early morning hours of September 12th, Buffalo Police officers responded to a 911 call of a man with a gun. Officers encountered Mr. Rivera who was in possession of a loaded handgun. Mr. Rivera ignored numerous requests to drop the gun and was ultimately shot by Officer Karadzhaev. In addition to video that was obtained, numerous other pieces of evidence have been collected. Our homicide and internal affairs units continue their investigation. We ask anyone with information in this case to call or text our Confidential TIPCALL Line at (716) 847-2255. Out of respect for the independent investigation being conducted by the Erie County District Attorney's office, we have no further comment at this time.  

The Deputy Commissioner says deadly force was necessary. Buffalo Police and the DA have the same video -- as they conduct their own investigations.

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