Police fire shots during robbery at Walmart

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — Authorities have made an arrest in a case that sent two Amherst police officers to the hospital overnight. The police officers suffered injuries after responding to a robbery call at the Walmart on Sheridan Drive around 9 p.m. Saturday.

Scene at Walmart overnight
Scene at Walmart overnight.

Ronald Kerling, 33, is in custody in connection with the shoplifting incident where shots were fired. Police arrested Kerling without incident and charged him with first degree reckless endangerment, petit larceny, resisting arrest, reckless driving and unlawful fleeing a police officer.

The first officer engaged with the suspect after he was pointed out by other Walmart shoppers. A struggle ensued as the suspect got into his car and dragged the officer through the parking lot. A second officer responded and both fired their weapons. The officers’ names have not been released.

Another officer was injured during the incident when a responding patrol car hit officer Corey Brown, who was responding to help the injured officer who was dragged by the vehicle.

Amherst Assistant Police Chief Charles Cohen released details about the officers.

“They are both still in the hospital. One of the officer’s injuries is described as rather serious,” he said.

Police say Kerling has a criminal record.


A release Sunday indicated Brown was the officer who had serious injuries.

Police said Kerling is the suspect whom Amherst Detectives identified as the driver. A release said Kerling has an extensive criminal history. He’s currently on parole for a felony conviction.

Kerling is currently in the Erie County Holding Center after being remanded there without bail.

Those with information are asked to call the Amherst Police Department at 689-1390.

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