Suspect Charged for Shooting City of Tonawanda Police Detective and Another Individual

Modified: June 16, 2020 9:02am

Latest News

Redirecting to our new, updated website ...

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 28-year-old Matthew R. Gerwitz of City of Tonawanda has been arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller, acting as a City of Tonawanda Court Judge, on two counts of Attempted Murder in the First Degree, Class “A-1” felonies, one count of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, a Class “B” felony, and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, Class “C” felonies.

It is alleged that on Monday, May 26, 2020, at approximately 1:10 a.m., the defendant shot a 32-year-old victim on the corner of Morgan Street and Clinton Street in the City of Tonawanda. The victim was hit in the torso. He was taken to ECMC where he continues to be treated for his injuries.

As City of Tonawanda Police responded to the scene to investigate the shooting, the defendant allegedly re-entered his Morgan Street apartment. It is further alleged that at approximately 3:30 a.m., the defendant fired shots from inside his home at police officers. A police detective, who was outside of the home, was hit by gunfire.

The City of Tonawanda Police detective, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was hit by gunfire multiple times. He was taken to ECMC to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. 

The defendant allegedly fled in a vehicle and exchanged gunfire with police during their pursuit. The defendant was apprehended after a brief high-speed chase that ended a short distance away when police rammed the defendant’s car with their patrol vehicles on Morgan Street near Kohler Street.

A police lieutenant suffered a broken wrist as a result of the collision. Another officer in a different patrol vehicle was unharmed.

Gerwitz is scheduled to return on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. for a felony hearing. He was remanded without bail.

If convicted on all charges, Gerwitz faces a maximum of 75 years to life in prison.

DA Flynn commends the City of Tonawanda Police Department, the City of Tonawanda Police SWAT, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, and all of the neighboring police agencies who responded to assist with this investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John Gerken, Jr. of the DA’s Tactical Prosecution Unit.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.