Modified: July 6, 2022 1:31pm
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 28-year old Kente Q. Bell of Buffalo was arraigned this morning before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case on an indictment charging him with the following offenses:
- Five counts of Attempted Murder in the First Degree (Class “A-I” felonies)
- One count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon of Second Degree (Class “C” violent felony)
- One count of Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree (Class “D” felony)
- One count of Unlawful Fleeing a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree (Class “A” misdemeanor)
It is alleged that on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Buffalo Police officers on routine patrol observed the defendant driving a vehicle with tinted windows on West Ferry Street near Niagara Street. The officers allegedly initiated a traffic stop and approached the defendant’s vehicle in Broderick Park. The defendant allegedly drove off after the officers found that he was driving with a suspended registration.
The Buffalo Police officers pursued the defendant as he allegedly drove drove at a high-rate of speed northbound on Niagara Street into the city’s Black Rock neighborhood. A female passenger allegedly jumped from the defendant’s vehicle on Military Road near Glor Street where she was detained.
During the pursuit, the defendant is accused of attempting to cause the death of the responding officers by firing shots from an illegal pistol on Austin Street near Kail Street.
The defendant allegedly continued to recklessly drive onto the Scajaquada Expressway and Kensington Expressway before exiting onto Bailey Avenue. The defendant allegedly drove around police patrol vehicles, that were parked in an attempt to stop the defendant, on Bailey Avenue. It is further alleged that the defendant attempted to cause the death of police officers by firing shots on Bailey Avenue near Langfield Avenue. One police officer who was sitting in the passenger seat of a patrol vehicle was shot in the arm by the defendant.
It is alleged that while the defendant continued to drive along Bailey Avenue, he again attempted to cause the death of police officers by firing shots on near Arden Avenue.
It is further alleged that the defendant attempted to cause the death of police officers by firing shots in the area of Fillmore Avenue and Genesee Street.
The pursuit ended when the defendant crashed his vehicle into a billboard pole on East Ferry Street near Fillmore Avenue. The defendant is accused of attempting to cause the death of police officers by continuing to fire shots from the illegal weapon. Buffalo Police allegedly returned fire and the defendant was subsequently injured.
The defendant was transported to ECMC where he was treated to injuries to his hand, shoulder and lower extremities. He continues to remain in custody at ECMC.
The Erie County DA’s Office conducted a thorough review of the incident and determined that the actions of the police officers who fired their weapon were justified. The Buffalo Police officers have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.
Bell is scheduled to return on Monday, July 25, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. He continues to remain held without bail.
If convicted of the highest charges, Bell faces a maximum 40 years to life in prison.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Christopher S. Safulko and Frank A. Strano of the Major Crimes Bureau.
As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proved guilty in a court of law.