Posted on April 4, 2022

Probation Department Probe Focuses on Tip That Kente Bell Had Gun, Threatened to Shoot Cops

Maki Becker and Aaron Besecker, Buffalo News, April 2, 2022

A month before Kente Bell allegedly led police on a wild chase across Buffalo and wounded three police officers, a tipster called in some information about him to an Erie County probation officer.

The tipster allegedly reported in February that Bell, who was on probation from a 2021 conviction for criminal possession of a weapon, had a gun, which would have been a violation of his conditions of probation, according to two law enforcement sources.

And the tipster allegedly reported to the probation officer that Bell said that if he were pulled over by police again, he would shoot them, the sources said.

The probation officer told a supervisor about the allegations about the gun and the threat and officials from probation are believed to have gone to Bell’s house to investigate, the sources said. When they arrived at Bell’s residence in Buffalo, he was not home. After that, no one ever returned to follow up, the sources said.

Bell now stands accused of shooting three Buffalo patrol officers with a gun loaded with a high-capacity magazine during a wild, cross-town chase that began at the foot of Ferry and ended in front of the Ferry-Fillmore District police station on Tuesday evening.


On Tuesday, two patrol officers approached Bell, who was parked with a female friend in a Jeep Cherokee in the parking lot of Broderick Park, after they spotted the tinted windows on the vehicle, police and prosecutors said. Bell was cooperative at first and handed over his license, but when the officers raised questions about issues with his registration, he is accused of driving off, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn Jr. said.

During the chase that followed, Bell is accused of shooting a gun multiple times.

Three Buffalo police officers were wounded, including Officer Joseph McCarthy who was shot in the lower abdomen and remained hospitalized Friday at Erie County Medical Center. Police Officer Trevor Sheehan was shot in the bicep and on the end of his ear and Officer Christopher Wilson took a bullet to his vest. Both were released.

Nine police vehicles sustained damage from bullets during the chase, Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told reporters the day after the incident.

Bell was also wounded when police opened fire on him as they surrounded his vehicle at the corner of East Ferry Street and Fillmore Avenue, a terrifying moment that was captured in a cellphone video that was widely circulated on social media.