By Associated Press - Saturday, September 12, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Buffalo police say man wielding a baseball bat was shot and critically wounded after striking an officer in the arm.

Police Capt. Jeff Rinaldo said police were responding to a mental health call just before 3 p.m. Saturday when they encountered the man holding the bat and acting erratically.

Police followed the man for several blocks, attempting to get the bat away from him, using pepper spray on more than one occassion, Rinaldo said.

The man swung and struck one of the officers and was shot in the abdomen as he attempted to swing again, Rinaldo said.

The suspect was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was listed Saturday evening in critical but stable condition, police said.

Rinaldo said one of the officers that responded was a crisis intervention officer. He declined to say whether the use of force was appropriate.

“Part of our investigation will be to determine what brought the officers there; how they handled it; attempts at de-escalation and what led to the eventual shooting of the suspect,” he said. “So, it’s too early for me to make a call one way or another.”

He said said police body camera footage is being reviewed as part of the investigation into the shooting.

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