Police presence on Chippewa questioned after shots are fired Sunday morning

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Buffalo Police have arrested a 28 year old Lackawanna man for firing a weapon in the city’s entertainment district.

Snapchat video shows a man fire a gun into the air after a fight broke out. It happened around 3:45 am as the bars were about to close on West Chippewa.

BPD took Patrick Franovich into custody, they told News 4 his intent is still unclear. He will be charged with reckless endangerment and possession of a loaded firearm.

According to Buffalo Police, the Blasdell and Hamburg police departments helped track Franovich down.

“This was an isolated incident,” said Jay Manno, owner of Soho Burger Bar. “If you’ve seen the videos, which I’m sure most people have, he wasn’t aiming his gun at anyone. It was a stupid, boneheaded move.”

Manno’s restaurant is across the street from where police say the incident happened, outside of 67 West.

Manno said there is usually a strong police presence along the strip.

“More often than not I would say a dozen, just in these three blocks, minimum,” said Manno.

The video, however, doesn’t seem to show any officers nearby.

On Sunday evening, Capt. Jeff Rinaldo said, “We always have officers, especially on busy weekend nights down in the Chippewa district. We never give an exact number.”

He told News 4 officers responded quickly.

“Thankfully their quick response prevented any further violence,” said Capt. Rinaldo.

Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President John Evans said scheduled overtime was cancelled last Friday.

“Any overtime that was allotted for special details, Chippewa, Allen streets, different case load overtime has been eliminated,” said Evans.

He doesn’t expect it to be resolved until the next fiscal year starts in July and told us it could create issues in the future.

“Your district calls can’t be attended to because those officers are going to be drawn into the busier areas, you know, Chippewa and Allen streets,” said Evans.

Ellicott District Common Council Member Darius Pridgen said skyrocketing overtime costs are an issue.

“We are very open in this budget to talk about how we lessen the overtime but keep protection,” he said.

In general, Pridgen believes the force needs to be expanded as the city grows.

As for Sunday’s incident, he said the officers deserve credit.

“Our police department did respond rapidly on Chippewa so that there was not a homicide or a shooting that led to a person being shot,” said Pridgen.

Soho Burger Bar Owner Jay Manno told News 4 he hopes police don’t back down because the strong presence has prevented problems.

This recent incident he says is unfortunate.

“A black eye on a neighborhood that’s nothing but good for this city,” said Manno.

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