Driver in shoot-out, chase with Buffalo police arraigned

Mar 31, 2022, 3:46 AM | Updated: 3:48 pm
police pursuit...
(James P. McCoy/The Buffalo News via AP)

(James P. McCoy/The Buffalo News via AP)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A driver who engaged Buffalo police in a lengthy gunfight, striking and injuring three officers during a haphazard chase that spanned the city, pleaded not guilty Thursday to attempted murder.

Kente Bell, 28, was arraigned from his hospital room, where he is recovering from several gunshot wounds sustained during Tuesday’s chase and a final hail of gunfire as it ended in front of a police station at a Buffalo intersection.

Bell was shot in his neck, arm, leg and hand and underwent surgery at Erie County Medical Center, where he appeared before a judge after regaining consciousness, said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, who offered dramatic new details of the events.

“You have a high-speed chase… you’ve got a guy firing out the driver’s side window. You’ve got blockades, you’ve got speed on highways, a girl jumping out of the car,” he said at a news conference.

Bell is accused of fleeing two police officers who approached his parked vehicle after noticing its tinted windows around 6 p.m. Tuesday, Flynn said. He cooperated at first but did not get out of the car because he was partially paralyzed in a 2012 shooting and uses medical equipment to walk, the prosecutor said.

When it appeared there was an issue with his registration, Bell drove off. Armed with an illegal handgun with an extended magazine of ammunition, he fired on police as they pursued him through city neighborhoods and on highways for more than 20 minutes, Flynn said.

Early in the chase, before shots were fired, the passenger exited the moving vehicle.

“He was making a turn and had slowed down at some point. She opened the front passenger door and jumped out of the car while it was moving and ended up rolling on the ground and hit up against a pole of some kind,” he said, “like right out of a movie.”

“She was obviously freaking out probably, to say the least, and wanted to have nothing to do with this,” Flynn said.

In the minutes that followed, Bell drove through a police barricade, entered and exited highways and drove wildly through several Buffalo neighborhoods, briefly entering the suburb of Cheektowaga, before turning back toward Buffalo with police officers radioing his route to each other and warning of the danger.

“They’re still shooting. Multiple officers hit!” an officer is heard shouting in a transmission captured by

Three police officers were struck in separate vehicles. All are recovering.

By the time it was over, nine police vehicles were damaged by gunfire, Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.

Investigators have yet to determine how many shots were fired by Bell, or how many officers fired their weapons, Flynn said.

Bell is due to appear before a county judge at the hospital Friday for an alleged probation violation related to a 2020 illegal firearms charge in the town of Amherst. While on probation, he was prohibited from carrying a weapon.

The attorney who represented Bell at Thursday’s arraignment did not return a call seeking comment on his behalf.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Three children and three adults were killed in a shooting at a private Christian grade school in Na...
Associated Press

3 children, 3 adults killed at Christian school in Nashville

Three children were killed in a shooting at a private Christian grade school in Nashville on Monday, hospital officials said.
14 hours ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Associated Press

Police: passenger pulled jet’s emergency slide before LAX to SEA flight

A passenger on a Delta Air Lines flight out of Los Angeles International Airport was detained for triggering the plane’s emergency slide prior to takeoff, authorities said.
14 hours ago
Law enforcement officials work at the scene along Wooding Road on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, east o...
Associated Press

Why murder defendant was free before killings in Washington

Kirkland Warren was out on bail pending a long-delayed murder trial in Arkansas. But when he was arrested in Washington, he posted bond and was released.
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Much of drought-plagued West Coast faces salmon fishing ban

The surreal and desperate scramble boosted the survival rate of the hatchery-raised fish, but still it was not enough to reverse the declining stocks in the face of added challenges.
4 days ago
UCLA's Jaime Jaquez Jr. (24) shoots while defended by Gonzaga's Rasir Bolton (45) in the first half...
Associated Press

Gonzaga beats UCLA 79-76 in Sweet 16 on Strawther’s shot

Julian Strawther hit a 3-pointer with 6 seconds left to answer a 3-pointer by UCLA's Amari Bailey, lifting Gonzaga to a wild 79-76 NCAA Tournament win over UCLA Thursday night in the Sweet 16.
4 days ago
Associated Press

Officials: Safety device, human error derailed Wash. train

A safety device failed, knocking a train off the tracks last week, spilling diesel after leaving an oil refinery in Anacortes.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.
SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Driver in shoot-out, chase with Buffalo police arraigned