Injured Buffalo, New York police officer returns home

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Patricia Parete, 42, a Buffalo, New York police officer who was shot two times and nearly killed by a fleeing suspect in December of 2006, has returned to her Buffalo home after being transferred to a specialized rehabilitation hospital in New Jersey to recover from her injuries. Another officer, Carl Andolina who was also responding to the scene, was also shot twice.

Parate is able to speak, but still is not able to walk, or move her arms because of one of the bullets severely damaged her spinal cord. The other bullet hit her bullet proof vest and did not cause any damage. Andolina was shot once in the neck and once in the shoulder.

The two officers were responding to a call at about 9:00 p.m. on December 5, that a male and female were fighting inside a Valero gas station located on West Chippewa and Elmwood Avenues in Downtown Buffalo when one of the suspects, Varner Harris, 18 and lives in Buffalo, fled police. When the officers began to chase Harris, he turned and fired several shots at the officers, wounding both of them. Despite being shot two times, Andolina still managed to give a short chase to apprehend the suspect, tackling him to the ground.

Neither officer fired any shots. Both officers were shot by a .38-caliber revolver. At least 5 shots total were fired in total by the suspect.

Harris was convicted for the attempted murder of the officers, and could face 30 years in prison.