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MAN SHOT BY POLICE IS CHARGED

Maurice Pitner continued to harass his ex-girlfriend despite an order of protection issued in City Court, Buffalo police said Wednesday.

After setting fire Tuesday night to their Englewood Avenue home and threatening the woman, the mother of his child, Pitner was shot in the hip after he allegedly lunged at an officer with a knife, police said.

A convicted felon, Pitner, 35, remained in fair condition today with a bullet wound to his hip. Police officials, who said Northeast District Officer Mark C. White fired the shot, called the shooting justified.

Pitner's ex-girlfriend, 38, had an order of protection issued on May 19, 2003, according to police records. The sanction doesn't expire until May 18, 2006. Police, however, said they believe Pitner was living in the home with the woman for the past few months.

Northeast District Lt. Paul Delano said he has responded to at least three domestic calls at the Englewood Avenue address over the years.

"He has a history of domestic violence," said Delano. "He fights with her, he gets drunk and high, and he wants to beat her up and fight with us. . . . It seems to be an ongoing domestic situation between him and the woman."

At about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, the woman flagged down officers nearby and told them Pitner had set fire to the front entrance of her two-family home at 196 Englewood, in North Buffalo.

When officers arrived, Pitner was standing in the front doorway, pouring charcoal lighter fluid on the floor, with a fire burning beside him, police said.

Police said Pitner placed the can of lighter fluid on a table and held up a knife. Three officers -- Delano, Earl Perrin, and Joseph Doxbeck -- stood outside, with smoke and flames coming from the doorway, attempting to negotiate with Pitner, police said.

"He was yelling, 'You're going to have to shoot me, you're going to have to kill me and I'm going to burn down this house,' " Delano said.

Police said White and Officer Edmund Malcolm entered the home through a side door and approached Pitner, when Pitner made a move.

"The guy turned on him with a knife in his hand (and when) the officer made some sort of command to stop, (Pitner) advanced . . . and the officer fired," said Deputy Police Commissioner Robert T. Chella.

Police said Pitner has been charged with arson, aggravated criminal contempt, criminal mischief, two counts of reckless endangerment, menacing, harassment, criminal possession of a weapon, and two counts of attempted murder -- one for attempting to kill White, and the second for igniting the fire knowing that a man was upstairs in his upper apartment.

e-mail: vthomas@buffnews.com