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A driver accused of shooting at police during a lengthy car chase through the streets of Buffalo that ended in an exchange of gunfire was arraigned Wednesday on five counts of attempted murder.
The March 29 wild chase resulted in the striking of three officers, as well as the suspect, Kente Bell. An investigation by the District Attorney’s Office found that two of those officers were hit by friendly fire, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said at a press conference announcing the charges. .
Bell, 28, is accused of driving off during a traffic stop and then shooting at police as they chased him through city neighborhoods and on highways for more than 20 minutes. Prosecutors say he drove through a police barricade and drove wildly through several Buffalo neighborhoods before crashing his car.
The chase ended in a hail of gunfire outside a police station at a Buffalo intersection. Bell was shot in the neck, arm, leg and hand and is still recovering. The three officers who were struck did not sustain life-threatening injuries.
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Bell fired at least 14 shots from his vehicle. Because he was partially paralyzed, Bell was driving a vehicle that didn’t require him to use his feet, Flynn said.
The district attorney said 16 officers fired shots, mostly at the scene of the crash. But he didn’t know how many shots the police fired.
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Bell was first charged days after the lawsuit. He was arraigned Wednesday on five counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, among other charges.
Bell was sentenced to detention without bail. A call seeking comment was placed with Bell’s attorney.
Flynn said there would be no criminal charges against any of the officers, although he suggested not all responded appropriately.
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“There is no violation of criminal law that expresses common sense, and therefore I cannot charge any Buffalo police officer with a violation of common sense,” Flynn said.