Two Buffalo, New York police officers shot while on duty

Friday, December 8, 2006

Two police officers working for the Buffalo Police Department in Buffalo, New York have been shot numerous times and still managed to apprehend the suspect, without firing a shot back at the suspect. Both officers were rushed to Erie County Medical Center for treatment.

Officer Patricia Parete, 41 was shot twice at close range and had to be revived by paramedics on the scene. Parete was shot in the jaw and the bullet severed her spinal cord. Parete already underwent one surgical procedure and her condition is "very grave," according to H. McCarthy Gipson, the Buffalo Police Commissioner. Her condition remains serious. Her condition was upgraded from critical to serious after surgery on December 6, 2006. A bullet proof vest stopped the first bullet from penetrating her chest area.

Officer Carl Andolina was shot twice, once in the left arm and once in the neck. The bullet piercing his neck is still stuck near his throat, and doctors cannot remove it until swelling around the area goes down. He has since been released from the hospital to recover at home before doctors remove the lodged bullet.

Both officers were shot by a .38-caliber revolver. At least 5 shots total were fired.

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 who 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.

"He [Harris] immediately opened fire. The officers never exchanged gunfire," said a spokesman for Buffalo's Mayor's office, Peter K. Cutler.

Harris is facing two counts of attempted murder.