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Officer shot in Falls

An undercover officer was shot and four people were arrested Thursday evening in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart on Porter Road, police said.

The incident was connected to an investigation of gun trafficking by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Niagara Falls police, authorities said. The four were accused of buying and selling firearms illegally. Joseph G. Green, a spokesman for the ATF, offered some details of the incident.

He said both departments were conducting an undercover operation, purchasing firearms in the parking lot about 8 p.m.

Officers had already met with the suspects, who were not named, on another occasion, Green said.

On Thursday evening, the suspects "had intended to just rob the undercover operative," the spokesman said. One suspect got into the front seat of the undercover operative's vehicle, while the second got in the back seat, Green said.

The suspect in the front seat grabbed the money while the one in the back fired a gun, hitting the undercover officer in the leg, said Green, adding that the injury did not appear to be life-threatening.

Then, officers moved in and another shot was fired at a police vehicle, Green added. The two suspects surrendered and police recovered two handguns, Green said. Information on the arrest the other two people was unavailable.

e-mail: pkowalik@buffnews.com

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