NIAGARA FALLS - A Niagara Falls man, with a history of trouble in the city, will face multiple gun charges after a two-hour standoff Wednesday morning during which he fired shots from his second-floor apartment on Pine Avenue.
Jesse A. Johnson, 34, was arrested at 7:30 a.m. after the police Emergency Response Team, or ERT, entered the apartment in the 1500 block of Pine.
Police Superintendent John R. Chella said Johnson will face multiple gun-possession charges after officers recovered two weapons and spent shells; he also faces charges of reckless endangerment.
Police went to the scene after numerous calls of shots fired were received at 5:10 a.m. The U.S. Border Patrol assisted police, and Pine was closed between 15th and 16th streets.
"The street was blocked off, and it was over quickly," Chella said. "We called in our ERT, [which] basically tried to make contact with the individual inside."
Chella said Johnson was shooting from the window at a brick wall of a vacant building. There were no reports of injury or damage.
"We made contact by cellphone, but Capt. [David] LeGault, head of the ERT, made the decision to do a forcible entry and secured the apartment," Chella said.
He noted that officers made the decision to enter the building behind a bulletproof shield after determining that Johnson was alone and had been shooting at an unoccupied building. He said they also hadn't heard from the suspect for a while.
Johnson was found in possession of two ceremonial "Keys to the City" after he was arrested, but not because of any honors he had received, according to police and Mayor Paul A. Dyster.
Chella said Johnson was known to police, and Dyster told The Buffalo News that he was also known to City Hall, as the man pictured in a 2007 viral photograph from a Myspace page partying in the mayor's office, crouching on what appears to be the then-Mayor Vince Anello's desk drinking a beer.
At the time, it was questioned whether Anello's daughter, Vincenette M. Anello, who was also her father's personal secretary, may have given Johnson after-hours access. No charges were filed, but security was questioned by the City Council.
Dyster said Johnson apparently had taken the keys as souvenirs of his escapades. "Johnson was never charged," Chella said, "but it was a political scandal at the time."