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Police probe checking if shots targeted officer

Was it a case of someone shooting at an off-duty Buffalo police officer working security at East High School or was it a case of "shots fired" that were intended for no one in particular?

That's what police were trying to figure out Monday.

A Central District off-duty police officer, whose name was withheld for safety reasons, was standing outside the high school at approximately 1:30 p.m. Monday when he reported hearing a series of gunshots, police said.

The gunfire did not strike the officer, and it remains uncertain if he was being targeted.

Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said the off-duty officer reported hearing gunfire. An investigation was launched to determine if someone was trying to harm the officer.

One police report said the shots were fired from a tan Jeep Cherokee, according to authorities. Several shell casings were recovered outside the high school on Northampton Street.

A school official said no one inside the structure was harmed in the incident.

"We were in the building, nobody was shot at inside the building," said School Principal Geraldine Horton.

Police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said the officer's name was being withheld, just in case the officer was the intended target.

e-mail: lmichel@buffnews.comand cspecht@buffnews.com

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