A man was shot in the leg at around 4 p.m. Wednesday during a robbery outside the Smokin’ Joe’s Trading Company store at 2293 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn.
A manhunt was underway well into the evening for two men who fled on foot – one heavyset and the other with a thin build. The victim was taken to Erie County Medical Center.
Niagara Wheatfield High School, where after-school activities were going on at the time of the shooting, was put on a precautionary lockdown ordered by the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office but the lockdown was lifted at around 5:30 p.m.
Niagara County Undersheriff Michael Filicetti said two men were robbed and one of them was shot with a rifle behind the store; the other man was not hurt.
The first robber was described as weighing about 310 pounds and standing about 5-feet-9 or 5-feet-10 inches tall with red hair; he was wearing a red shirt with “Echo” on the front, beige shorts and black shoes.
The second man, who had a thin build and was about 5 feet, 6 inches tall, was wearing a camouflage hoodie and dark pants.
The name of the shooting victim and his condition were not released by authorities.
Saunders Settlement Road and Walmore Road on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation were closed to traffic as the search continued and were to remain closed until officers determined it was safe to reopen them, Felicetti said.
Helicopters from the sheriff’s office and the Border Patrol were involved in the search. Three SWAT teams were on the scene – from the Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda and sheriff’s departments.
Law enforcement officers set up a perimeter around the store, with a command center in the parking lot.
The Niagara Wheatfield School Board board canceled its regular meting, which had been scheduled for Wednesday evening.