WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) – Five months after a deadly shooting in Wheatfield, video of the incident has now been made available to News 4. The video captures the intense stand off between a Niagara County Sheriff’s Deputy and the suspect.
It started with a hang-up call from a home on Errick Road in April. Deputy Joe Tortorella, a 10-year veteran of the force, was called to the scene and knocked.
In an interview with the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, Tortorella said, “I was standing in the doorway, which always makes me uneasy, just from our training, so I knocked on the door, and no one answered.”
The suspect, Duane Bores Junior answered the door, but ran back inside before Tortorella could see what was happening. “Right before he shut the door, I heard a woman scream inside the house. It sounded like an older woman, and it didn’t sound like she was screaming for help, it sounded like she was in agony, like she was dying,” said Tortorella. Cindy Bores and her husband Duane had been shot by their 25-year-old son. Cindy Bores says he was about to graduate with his law degree and was having a mental breakdown. Bores Junior ran out through the back door of the house and confronted Deputy Tortorella.
Tortorella said, “I started asking him what was going on, and he was just looking at me with a blank stare, like he was looking through me. I asked him if anything happened in the house, and he said, “I don’t know.” I said, “do you have a weapon on you?”He said, “I don’t know.” I said,”get on your knees, get on the ground and get your hands out in front of you.”
Tortorella spotted Bores’ gun and a shootout began. The deputy was hit, his life saved by his bulletproof vest. He radio’d to put Errick Road Elementary, next door, on lockdown. It’s where his wife teaches, and his two kids go to school.
Police tactical force entered the house soon after the gunfight. Inside, Bores Junior was found dead from a self-inflicted gun wound, and his parents badly injured. Meanwhile, Erica Tortorella, Joe’s wife, heard there had been a shooting.
She said, “At that point, I didn’t know that he had gotten hit, I just wanted to see that he was okay. After, I knew he was okay, I just wanted to get my son and my daughter and go home.”
Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour calls Tortorella a hero, and says his Deputy set an example for how to act in a situation like this. The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office is using this incident, and how Tortorella responded that day as a teaching tool. They have produced a documentary that will be shown to police across the country. Voutour says, with situations like this, it’s hard not to be concerned about his team. He said, “I’m kind of as their big dad, or their father here. I worry about them every day. He’s hailed as a hero, and he really is. But I think if Joe could go back to that day and make none of this happen, he would do it. He did everything right. He’s the reason that those parents are alive today. And doing well by the way.”
The Bores family is out of the hospital. They visited the deputies who helped save their lives just weeks ago. In a statement, the couple said, “they deeply regret what happened, and have the greatest admiration for the police, especially Deputy Tortorella.”