An early morning drug raid in Buffalo took a fatal turn when a man was shot. Buffalo Police said a Niagara County deputy assisting in the multi-agency operation shot and killed a 44-year-old man.
According to Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson, the deputy was executing a search warrant at a home on Kay Street, one of 21 locations targeted in the raid. Gipson said, once inside the house, the deputy was attempting to locate a female suspect when a man confronted the deputy and pointed a gun at him.
Gipson said the deputy immediately fired at the man, who later died at ECMC.
"The fact this this individual would come up and point a gun at very obvious responding police officers just highlights the danger these individuals were placed in," Gipson said.
Niagara County officials have placed the deputy on administrative leave pending the outcome of a Buffalo Police investigation. Despite that, Undersheriff Sam Muscarella believed the shooting was justified.
"When an individual points a gun at you, then you have to assume he's going to use it and shoot you," Muscarella said.
Despite the fatality, Commissioner Gipson called Operation Third Strike a success after it netted 17 weapons, 23 suspects, 5 kilos of cocaine and nearly $100,000 in cash.
Buffalo Police said one of the men arrested was considered to be a 'kingpin' of the city's drug dealing operations.