SWAT team officers and other police and paramedics responded late Sunday afternoon to a Town of Tonawanda trailer park, blocking anyone from entering or leaving the development while they investigate what residents described as an apparent shooting.
Tonawanda police issued a “shelter in place” warning to all residents around 51 Ritchie Ave. around 5 p.m., but would not elaborate on what was happening. Tenants were told not to leave their homes, while those returning home were kept from entering the park, creating a backlog in the parking lot of a nearby Ryder Truck Rental on Kenmore Avenue.
“A lot of my tenants are trying to come to the houses, and they won’t let them in,” said Sharon Taylor, a resident and manager of the Niagara Mobile Park, which has 23 home lots. “They’re stuck in the parking lot because the police won’t let them come to their houses. I’ve got a lot of angry tenants right now.”
Taylor said she could see a SWAT truck and “a bunch of SWAT guys with guns,” plus police cars and medical personnel. But she can’t leave or talk to the police to find out more, and police had roped off the entrance to the park at Kenmore Avenue. “They were yelling at me to go back in my house,” she said of police. “They’re blocking the entrance to the mobile home park. They won’t let anyone come or go.”
A Buffalo police K9 unit was also on the scene.
Taylor said she “heard that one of the tenants’ windows got shot out of their vehicle,” but didn’t know any other details.
However, she said she’s “been having problems with one of the tenants for a while,” and wondered if that might be the source of the trouble. “I’ve been trying to get them thrown out,” she said. “I haven’t been able to get this person evicted.”
The mobile home park is owned by Todd Proctor of Rochester, but Taylor said he’s trying to sell it. “I’ve never had anything like this before,” she said. “I can’t take this stress.”