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Cheektowaga man exchanges gunfire with four outside home

A 64-year-old Cheektowaga man exchanged gunfire with four males he heard making noise outside his home around 3:15 a.m. Thursday, police said.

Neighbors said police responded to a house at 13 Florette Drive W. after they said they heard two gunshots.

The man told police he heard noises in his driveway and went outside with his pistol and confronted the four, Cheektowaga Assistant Police Chief James Speyer said.

The man told police he believed the suspects – described as four white males – were either trying to break into his car or his garage, Speyer said.

Once he went outside, he was attacked by one of the males with a baseball bat. Several shots were exchanged but no one was injured, Speyer said, and the four fled on foot.

It was unclear how many of the suspects had firearms, police said.

The man, whose wife also was home at the time of the incident, was taken to Erie County Medical Center to be evaluated but didn’t appear injured, he said.

None of the intruders has been located and police are continuing to investigate, Speyer said.

The resident’s pistol was properly licensed, he added.

Speyer said the neighborhood near French and Borden roads is “usually very quiet.”

Earlier Thursday morning, two neighbors reported hearing two gunshots that sounded like they came from outside the home.

“I knew right away it was a gunshot,” said David Mastriano, who said he was jolted out of bed by the noise.

The second shot was heard about 5 seconds later, he said.

The shots sounded like they came from the area of the home’s backyard, Mastriano said.

Mastriano and another neighbor reported hearing two shots.

Mastriano said he called 911, and 10 to 12 police officers were soon on the scene.

“This is scary. I thought this was a safe neighborhood. Now, I don’t know,” said a second neighbor, who did not want to be identified.

The woman said she had woken up to go to the bathroom when she heard the shots.

A third neighbor said she was woken up by a loud noise at around 3:15 a.m.

“I thought a transformer blew or something like that,” said the second neighbor, who also did not want to be identified.

Speyer, the assistant police chief, said police do not recommend residents confront suspects but should instead call 911 immediately.