One person is dead and two more injured after shots were fired at an Errick Road residence early this afternoon, Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour announced at a press conference in Fairmount Park.
The incident occurred after a deputy, whose name has not been released, responded to a 911 hang-up call at the residence, located near Errick Road Elementary School. After arriving at the house, the deputy called for backup. When a man estimated to be in his mid-20s left the house, a verbal confrontation between him and the deputy began. After the argument, the suspect pulled out a handgun and a gunfight ensued.
Multiple shots were fired from both the suspect's and the deputy's guns. Voutour could not confirm who shot first. After the gunfight ended, the suspect ran back inside the house.
At that time, a woman inside the house was on the phone with the sheriff's office through 911. Voutour said she said very little, but eventually told police she and her husband had been shot and were unable to leave the house.
Voutour said a decision was then made for police to enter the house. Inside, they found the injured husband and wife, as well as the suspect, who died of a gunshot wound in the kitchen. Voutour said it was unknown if the suspect was shot during the gunfight or if he had committed suicide.
Of the two injured persons, Voutour said one was shot multiple times. The two were taken to Erie County Medical Center's trauma unit. Their condition is unknown, though Voutour said their wounds were "serious."
None of the persons involved have been identified.
The deputy was also shot during the gunfight but was protected by his bulletproof vest. He was taken to ECMC, treated and released.
Though Voutour did not release the deputy's name, he said he worked exclusively in Wheatfield and was very involved in the community and school district.
"I'd take a hundred of him, he's one of the best," Voutour said.
The deputy was the one who called in the incident as it occurred and asked the sheriff's office to lock down nearby Errick Road Elementary School.
Voutour said his office was investigating whether there had been any incidents at the residence before, but so far, they had only turned up a criminal mischief complaint. The shooter's motives are still unknown.
Besides the sheriff's office, state police and North Tonawanda police were also on site. The ongoing investigation is a joint one between the sheriff's office and state police.