CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Police updated the public Wednesday on an officer-involved shooting in Cheektowaga.
Cheektowaga Police officials held an update into the early March shooting that left Java man Darrell Bosell dead. Police reported he held a gun at the time an officer fired on him, although they later learned the gun was not loaded.
Bosell died from his injuries, and the officer who made the decision to use deadly force was placed on administrative leave — a standard procedure in such a situation.
Officers released dash-camera video at their press conference at 10 a.m. on Union Road. The video supported what information they released to the public regarding the shooting outside the Best Western Hotel in Cheektowaga.
In security video, Bosell could be seen checking into the hotel. Later in the video, he could be seen pointing a gun both ways down a hallway. Inside Bosell’s room, knives and a whiskey bottle were found.
Police said it was a reasonable assumption that Bosell was planning to stay the night, but then saw patrol vehicles, got dressed and went outside.
After this, Bosell could be seen walking down the hotel stairs with the gun in hand, then leaving the hotel. This is when he approached the officer, who police say “had extreme composure.”
Bosell had a history of mental illness, according to police. One out of every four fatal police encounters involves a person with a severe mental illness.
With that, police said, “more needs to be done to train officers on dealing with people with mental illnesses.” They consider mental illness a huge problem for law enforcement, comparing it to the local opioid epidemic.
All officers will be trained in crisis intervention, according to Police Chief David Zack.
Family members of Bosell released a statement after the shooting thanking officers for their professionalism, noting they were happy no officers were injured in the line of duty. Police called this a “classy” gesture.
The investigation will go to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.