BPD Officer shot on duty discharged from ECMC, AG announces investigation into suspect’s death

(Officer Joseph Acquino)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Officer Joseph Acquino, who was shot in the head during a Black Rock traffic stop Sunday, has been discharged from the hospital.

Buffalo Police said Tuesday afternoon that Acquino has been discharged from ECMC. Acquino’s ear was successfully reattached by ECMC surgeons and he was listed in fair condition as of Monday.

The New York Attorney General’s office announced Tuesday afternoon that it will be looking into the death of the suspect in the shooting, Jose Hernandez-Rossy.

“The Attorney General’s Special Investigation and Prosecution Unit has opened an investigation into the death of Jose Hernandez Rossy, pursuant to the Attorney General’s authority under Executive Order No. 147,” Amy Spitalnick, press secretary for the New York State Office of the Attorney General said.  “We’re committed to conducting an independent, comprehensive, and fair investigation.”

The shooting occurred around 5 p.m. at the intersection of Garfield Street and Hartman Place in the Black Rock/Riverside neighborhood when Hernandez-Rossy’s vehicle was pulled over by police. There was a struggle and police say Hernandez-Rossy shot Acquino and ran, before being shot in the upper arm and shoulder area by Acquino’s partner, Justin Tedesco. Hernandez-Rossy ran a few more blocks before he collapsed from blood loss.

Police have investigated the area of the neighborhood where the incident took place, but a gun still has not been discovered as of Tuesday evening. It’s unclear how many shots were fired and by whom, and why Hernandez-Rossy was pulled over in the first place.

Acquino and Tedesco have not yet been interviewed by Buffalo Police. Federal rules protect officers from being interviewed without their attorney present, and from incriminating themselves. Both officers are still recovering physically and mentally.

Buffalo Police are expected to interview Acquino and Tedesco with their attorney present in the coming days. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard policy.

Buffalo Police said that they are fully cooperating with the AG’s investigation.

“Buffalo Police have been and will continue to fully cooperate with the investigation by the State Attorney General’s Office,” Buffalo Police said in a statement. “As the investigation continues, anyone with information is asked to contact authorities.

If it’s determined Hernandez-Rossy was unarmed, the investigation by the AG’s office would step in.

The AG’s office may also investigate if there is significant questions about whether the suspect was armed.

 

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