Police Chief Confirms Civilians Interrupted Cheektowaga Shooting Rampage

WBEN Sources: Store Owner Chased Shooter With Car

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(WBEN)   A store owner across the street from the Dollar General store at French and Union Roads in Cheektowaga was the apparent key to stopping a late Tuesday afternoon shooting that the police chief says could have been much worse, with many dead had he not intervened.

A gunman, later found to be wearing body armor and with at least 2 automatic rifles nearby, opened fire on the store yesterday afternoon near 3 pm, before he was chased from the scene and apprehended.  Cheektowaga Police have identified the suspect as Travis Green, 29, of Garden Village Drive in Cheektowaga. 

Green was charged with criminal use of weapon, intent to murder, resisting arrest, and other related charges. He pleaded not guilty in Cheektowaga Town Court Wednesday morning.  Bail was denied.

In a news conference Wednesday morning, Cheektowaga Police Chief David Zack confirmed that there were "civilian heroes" involved in the apprehension of Green, without confirming specific details.  WBEN had previously reported that a store owner across the street from the shooting scene intervened and  chased the suspect in a car.

Hear Cheektowaga Police Chief David Zack's Wednesday Morning Briefing:

Cheektowaga Police Chief David Zack- Wednesday Briefing

"They were instrumental in stopping the fire... they definitely intervened and stopped the threat," Zack said, declining to provide further information until after he meets with the civilians later today.

 Other sources tell WBEN that Cheektowaga Police have custody of a vehicle from Darryl's Car Audio across the street from the shooting scene. The owner of the store has not been available for comment.

VIDEO:  Cheektowaga Police dashcam video of suspect 'take down'

"There is an unsung hero," says Miguel Rivera, a retired Buffalo police officer and firearms instructor who runs Rivera Investigations and frequently analyzes police matters for WBEN.  "...a business owner directly across the street from the incident, saw the incident,left his business, got into his vehicle and said 'if this guy tries to leave, I am going to stop him', and my understanding is he went after him with a vehicle."

 Zack said that officers were able to catch the suspect after he attempted to flee on foot. Police say he was wearing camouflage and body armor, and two AR-15 rifles were recovered from the scene.

 "It is a miracle I'm not at this podium reading the names of the dead," Zack said Tuesday afternoon  adding that dozens of rounds of ammunition were fired.

Officials say a 53-year-old Cheektowaga man with a relatively minor gunshot wound to his shoulder was the only injury.

Green was taken to a Buffalo hospital, where he's being held under guard.  The victim's names has not been released.

Police say they haven't determined a motive for the shooting.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: hear more from Zack and eyewitnesses calling in to WBEN's Bauerle and Bellavia

RELATED AUDIO:  Hear Miguel Rivera on the WBEN Liveline with Susan Rose and Brian Mazurowski

 

Firearms expert Miguel Rivera- Cheektowaga Shooting Insight

Rivera says that in time it wil come out that a hero possibly stopped the shooter in the act, preventing deaths.

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