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Gunman sentenced for attempting to kill Buffalo Police officers during high-speed pursuit


Wed, Jul 5th 2023 11:40 am

Submitted by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced 29-year-old Kente Q. Bell of Buffalo was sentenced this morning before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case to 18 years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision. He was sentenced today as a second violent felony offender.

On Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at approximately 6 p.m., Buffalo Police officers on routine patrol saw the defendant driving a vehicle with tinted windows on West Ferry Street near Niagara Street. The officers initiated a traffic stop and approached the defendant’s vehicle, which was parked in Broderick Park. The defendant drove off after the officers found that he was driving with a suspended registration.

The Buffalo Police officers pursued the defendant as he drove at a high-rate of speed northbound on Niagara Street into the city’s Black Rock neighborhood. A female passenger jumped from the defendant’s vehicle on Military Road near Glor Street, where she was detained by police.

The defendant continued to recklessly drive onto the Scajaquada Expressway and Kensington Expressway before he exited onto Bailey Avenue. The defendant drove around police patrol vehicles that were parked in an attempt to stop the defendant on Bailey Avenue.

The defendant again attempted to cause the death of police officers by firing shots while driving on Bailey Avenue near Langfield Avenue. One police officer who was sitting in the passenger seat of a patrol vehicle was shot in the arm by the defendant.

While the defendant continued to drive on Bailey Avenue, he again attempted to cause the death of police officers by firing shots from an illegal gun near Arden Avenue.

The pursuit ended when the defendant crashed his vehicle into a billboard pole on East Ferry Street near Fillmore Avenue. The defendant attempted to cause the death of police officers by continuing to fire shots from the illegal weapon after the crash. Buffalo Police returned fire and the defendant was subsequently injured.

The defendant was transported to ECMC where he was treated to injuries to his hand, shoulder and lower extremities.

Our office previously announced that, after a thorough review of the incident, it was determined that the actions of the police officers who fired their weapon were justified. The Buffalo Police officers were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.

Bell pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted murder in the second degree (class “B” violent felonies) and one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree (class “C” violent felony). The defendant pleaded guilty to the charges in full satisfaction of the indictment against him on April 10, 2023.

The case was prosecuted by assistant district attorneys Christopher S. Safulko and Frank A. Strano of the major crimes bureau.

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