Police: Person shot dead after brandishing knife
A Monday afternoon shooting left a person dead in the village of Fredonia.
Witnesses said the suspect apparently was shot by a Fredonia Police Department officer. The incident took place outside of 76 Liberty St. just before 2 p.m. Monday afternoon, though according to Fredonia Police Chief Brad Meyers, it started indoors with the subject wielding a knife.
“The Fredonia Police Department responded to assist the Fredonia Fire Department with a call that they had,” Meyers stated. “While on scene the subject attacked one of the officers with a weapon, the officer retreated out of the house, to the street, but was left with little choice but to fire at the assailant resulting in that individual’s death.”
County coroner Richard Mackowiak was at the scene. Officials from the Fredonia Police Department, New York State Police, Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department, Lakewood-Busti Police Department, the Attorney General’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office were on the scene, as well as Fredonia Fire Department and the Dunkirk police, who were called for assistance.
According to Meyers, the officer who shot the person has more than 15 years on the job with the Fredonia Police Department.
Information was spotty as of press time, but Meyers said that upon arrival of emergency services the individual was locked in the bathroom with an unknown medical condition, and came at the officer brandishing a knife.
Also the OBSERVER learned that there were other individuals present in the house at the time, the officer is currently on leave pending the condition of the investigation, but he’s okay, and there have been no prior calls to the residence before.
Liberty Street was closed from Porter Avenue to Water Street, with police and emergency crews being the only ones able to reach the scene in the afternoon and evening.
The issue also created a problem for some Fredonia school pupils. Because of the road closing, school busses were not allowed near the scene.
This is the second shooting in the last three years on Liberty Street. In April 2016, a male and female subject entered the enclosed porch of a home and began pounding on the front door. The homeowner, who was armed with a legally owned handgun, opened the door and the two subjects forced their way into the house. Following a brief exchange of words, the homeowner, who was carrying the gun, repeatedly told the two to leave the house. He then fired his gun at the would-be intruder.
The homeowner was not charged in that incident.
At this time the entire investigation has been turned over to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department with the assistance of the New York State Police.
“We’re just an a asset to them, we’re helping them in any way that we can with the investigation,” Meyers said. “In any case, under New York State law involving an officer shooting, the Attorney General’s Office is contacted and they have been to the scene.”
Ryan Wysong, a nearby resident on Liberty Street, heard the event as it occurred.
“I was at my home on my computer, I assumed it was a gun shot, I didn’t know what else it could be,” Wysong stated. “And so then I proceeded to go towards the front of my house, just to see what was happening, and then I heard two more and then I just walked outside my front door and all sorts of police just started piling down the street. It was just out of the blue, it wasn’t really something you’d expect to occur there.”
“These are never easy calls to handle, it’s a difficult call and it’s unfortunate that at the end of the day it had to result in the way it did,” Meyers said.