Submitted by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced 32-year-old Dominique D. Thomas of Buffalo pleaded guilty this morning before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case to one count of menacing a police officer or peace officer (class “D” violent felony). The defendant pleaded guilty to the highest sustainable charge in the indictment against him.
On Monday, March 14, 2022, at approximately 4:36 a.m., four Buffalo Police officers responded to an apartment building on the 1900 block of Hertel Avenue near Shoshone Street. The defendant had called 911, stating that someone was threatening to kill him. When the officers entered the building, they encountered the defendant, who was holding a large knife, in the stairwell.
The defendant admitted to intentionally placing the officers in reasonable fear of physical injury or death by displaying the knife and refusing multiple orders by police to drop the weapon. In an attempt to de-escalate the situation, the police officers backed out of the apartment building and moved into the street as they spoke with the defendant who continued to approach with the deadly weapon. When the defendant ran toward an officer with the knife in hand, he was subsequently shot multiple times by the two of the police officers.
The defendant was taken by ambulance to ECMC where he was treated for multiple injuries. No police officers were injured during the incident.
District Attorney Flynn previously announced his office conducted a thorough review of the officer-involved shooting and determined that the actions of the police officers were justified. The two Buffalo Police officers who fired the shots resulting in injuries to the defendant were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.
Thomas faces a maximum of seven years in prison when he is sentenced on Monday, Sept. 18. He continues to remain held without bail.
DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department for its work in the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christine M. Garvey of the felony trials bureau.