For the second time in three days, local law enforcement officers were threatened by an armed man.
Just two days after a Cheektowaga police officer fatally shot a man armed with a stolen gun, a Genesee County sheriff’s patrol car was shot up by a man who later admitted firing a .22 caliber rifle from his hotel room. In this latest incident, no injuries were reported.
At around noon Monday, Deputies Andrew Hale and Joseph Corona were on a traffic detail in the Town of Byron when Hale pulled over a vehicle for a seat belt violation in the Byron Arrow Mart parking lot.
As Hale was running data in the driver’s seat of his patrol car in the Arrow Mart parking lot, the rear windows of his car shattered and he radioed for help, Sheriff Gary T. Maha said in a statement. Corona immediately drove into the parking lot and gave Hale cover.
Corona noticed an open upstairs window in the Byron Hotel, which he thought was in direct line of a possible shot, officials said. He also noticed a white man moving around in the room, according to the statement.
More sheriff’s and state police units arrived and they went up and confronted the man in the room.
He was identified as David M. O’Connor, 55, who was living in the hotel.
O’Connor was arrested after he allegedly “made admissions with regard to the shooting” and a .22-caliber rifle was found in his room, the statement read.
O’Connor was taken into custody without incident and nobody was injured. He was jailed at the Genesee County Jail in Batavia in lieu of $25,000 bail that was sent by Byron Town Judge Daniel DiMatteo during his afternoon arraignment on felony charges of first-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree criminal mischief. Authorities later added a charge of attempted aggravated murder of a police officer.
The Sheriff’s Office and State Police continue to investigate the circumstances around the incident.