Ferry-Fillmore District Police Officer Ronald Clark has been cleared by an Erie County grand jury of any criminal wrongdoing in an Aug. 29 shooting that wounded Lamont Cooper.
Clark shot Cooper, 19, in the upper leg during a violent struggle over a handgun that Cooper was carrying at about 4 p.m. on the 900 block of Walden Avenue, after fleeing from a nearby home where he was involved in a domestic incident, authorities said.
The 911 call Clark responded to described Cooper as “a man with gun.”
“Cooper was out on probation and had a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun,” said attorney Thomas H. Burton, who represents officers for the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association. “Officer Clark waived immunity and appeared before the grand jury and explained what happened.”
The officer shot in self defense, Burton said, adding that “he had made a split-second decision to spare Cooper’s life by shooting him in the thigh, while they struggled over the handgun.”
Burton and police had pointed out that Cooper was granted a youthful offender plea in a Buffalo school gun case last year.