Here's a linear collection of video clips I recorded on the evening of September 20, 2021 while in commute home from work and a trip to the laundromat (and, KFC).
While heading south on Main Street I overheard a call on the scanner that a shooting had just occurred only blocks ahead of me, and that it somehow involved an NFTA (Buffalo City) bus.
I do not generally "respond" to active crime scenes that are still as hot as this one was at the time, but I realized that the police presence was already strong and getting stronger, so I rationalized it was safe enough to park and document the events as much as might-could be. I mean, I was driving straight into it in any event.
Although the shooting event itself and scene were dramatic, the closure on this event was actually fairly tame. According to the police radio traffic sampled later, a victim was shot in the leg and the wound considered non-life-threatening.
That being said, it's never been cleared up in the open media how the bus actually figured into any of this outside police radio traffic, which suggests that the shooter had direct contact with the bus in such a way that its passengers were terrified and fled off it.
Part of the confusion is because the victim themself was treated at the separate location nearly over a block away. Nonetheless WGRZ TV, at least, did report a bus window that appeared shot out, suggesting the shooting did in fact occur on the bus.
Whatever the case, the bus driver apparently tripped the "Call 911" message on his public-facing displays.
The video collection starts with me driving up to the scene, having just heard it come through on the scanner; then paramedics treating the victim in a parking lot just beside "Dr. Bob's Dentistry"; then me walking approximately a block away to the bus which somehow factored into all of this; then me, having walked back to my car, marveling over a spent bullet shell casing just behind my car.
Turns out I had parked in a space adjacent to the area where the shooter actually fired from.
Video 1 of 4 - Hearing the Call, Approaching the Scene
Video 2 of 4 - Apparent Victim Being Treated
Video 3 of 4 - Walk to the NFTA Bus
Video 4 of 4 - Bullet Shell Casing Next to My Car
For what it's worth this is not the first time someone opened up with gunfire on a city bus. While Googling for the details of this event, I came across a separate 2019 instance.
Understandably it is bad press for the NFTA or any transit agency (note that the NFTA press release site does not explicitly provide a notice of this event), not to mention the city itself, to have something like this sort of thing lathered all over the nightly news. Police, the media, and the general public are accustomed to shootings occurring in a contained area of high crime neighborhoods, and we all cope day to day believing that "we" are safe in our structured more economically secure lives. Any city politician or private developer is going to cringe at any hint of incident-leakage into the mainstream public, which is of course, an eventuality.
That is precisely why documenting these events at a chaotic level outside the control of the status quo stakeholders is ever important. If you are there, you are the reporter.
By Dave for for BuffScan.