Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports that an extremely dangerous and volatile incident on Brown Hill Road in the Town of Concord, which erupted around 9:00 PM Sunday, was peacefully resolved this morning after more than 12 hours.
A 911 call was received at 8:59 PM from a residence on Brown Hill Road, reporting that a male subject in a house next door was “out of control”, and acting in a threatening manner. The complainant was the 48 year-old male subject’s wife, who had fled with their children to the neighbor’s house, in which a relative of the complainant lived. Once inside the house, the complainant made the call to 911, requesting assistance. The complainant also told the radio dispatcher that there were guns inside the residence, and that she had heard what she believed were gunshots coming from the house as she was leaving.
Deputies Bradford Ballantyne and Jonathan Hanna were the first law enforcement officers to arrive on location. As they started to slow up to pull into the driveway of the residence, they were subjected to gunfire, which was coming from the area of the house. Both of the marked patrol cars were struck in the front three times, with one round going through each of the two windshields. Deputies Ballantyne and Hanna reacted immediately and they each backed their patrol cars down the roadway to a position of relative safety, and notified the Sheriff’s Dispatch of the evolving critical situation.
It was later determined that the subject was shooting a high-powered rifle. Deputy Hanna’s patrol vehicle was damaged enough to cause it to be disabled at the scene.
The on-duty supervisors, Lieutenant Joseph Belden and Sergeant Shawn Young, immediately responded to the scene, and while enroute, began to deploy additional sheriff’s patrols to the scene, and to secure a perimeter around the area of the house.
The Erie County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) were dispatched to the scene, as was the department’s helicopter. In addition, multiple patrols from the New York State Police responded to assist, and their Emergency Response Team (ERT) was also requested to assist at the scene a short- time later. The State Police sent their helicopter, which was stationed in Syracuse, to back of the Sheriff’s Helicopter as needed.
The Sheriff’s Office armored SWAT vehicle was shot at, and struck by, a rifle round while it was being used to transport deputies from the staging area to the scene.
The occupants of the residence next door, including the complainant and her children, were evacuated from the house by the Sheriff’s SWAT Team. The occupants of a house directly across the street were contacted, and asked to go into their basement, as it was deemed to be too much of a risk to them to attempt to remove them from the house. They were evacuated from their house a few hours later, as were the occupants of six other nearby houses, before the incident was stabilized.
Early in the incident it was not confirmed that the subject was still inside of the house, so it was decided to close several roads in the area, which included both lanes of the Route 219 Expressway. These road closures were coordinated by the State Police, and made possible with the assistance of several volunteer fire companies and other police agencies, as well as the New York State Department of Transportation.
Efforts to communicate with the subject were begun, under the direction of Detective Captain Gregory Savage. Assisting in the negotiation efforts were agents from the Buffalo Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who also detailed their SWAT Team to assist at the scene
The tireless efforts to the negotiators paid off, when at 9:28 AM, the subject agreed to walk out of the house. He was taken into custody without incident by the members of the Sheriff’s SWAT Team, and was transported to the Erie County Medical Center for evaluation, under the New York State Mental Hygiene Law. The subject remains at the hospital at this time, and when he is released he will be charged with having violated multiple Penal Law offenses.
Sheriff Howard credits the professionalism of, and the cooperation between, the many agencies involved in being a major factor in the successful outcome of this critical incident. In addition to those that were previously mentioned, the following agencies assisted as the scene:
- Erie County Emergency Services
-West Seneca Police Department
-New York State Environmental Conservation Police
-US Border Patrol
The following agencies assisted with the road closures:
- Orchard Park Police Department
-East Concord Volunteer Fire Company
-Mortons Corners Volunteer Fire Company
-North Boston Volunteer Fire Company
-Hillcrest Volunteer Fire Company
-Langford Volunteer Fire Company
The Boston Volunteer Fire Company provided invaluable assistance by opening their fire hall to allow for a temporary safe shelter for the families involved, as well as for the neighbors who were evacuated from the area. Assistance was also given to the families and neighbors at the Boston Fire Station by Father Joseph Bayne, who serves as the Chief Erie County Fire Chaplain.
Medical stand-by assistance was provided by:
- Erie County Specialized Medical Assistance Response Team (SMART)
-North Collins Ambulance Squad
-Boston Ambulance Squad
-Rural Metro Ambulance Service