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Police: Security guard tackles active shooter at Buffalo drug clinic

By Nick VeronicaJeff Preval,


Update: You can see the security footage here .

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A man with a rifle fired shots inside a substance abuse treatment facility on Buffalo’s West Side Thursday morning, Buffalo Police confirmed, adding that no one was hit by gunfire inside the clinic.

A police spokesperson said they believe the incident was an attempted robbery tied to drug activity that was connected to a separate shooting earlier Thursday.

Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said a security guard at the Alba de Vida substance abuse treatment facility tackled the shooter and was able to apprehend him with the help of a second guard until police arrived.

“Of course, the security guard had an initial reaction, and then he ran directly — very close proximity — ran directly at the individual,” Gramaglia said. “[He] was able to grab a hold of him and the gun, and he held onto the barrel of the gun until help arrived – another security guard. Both of those security guards forced him out onto the sidewalk and held him on the ground until police arrived and were able to take him into custody.”

A News 4 photographer was on site as police removed the rifle from the scene. A male was seen being handcuffed and put into a police cruiser.

Police said the man fired a shot at a wall in the check-in area of the clinic before he was engaged by the guards. During a struggle, additional shots were discharged.

Gramaglia said the gun the man had was an AR-15 style rifle and the magazine was larger than allowed by law.

The Alba de Vida incident followed a separate shooting involving the same suspect and another man about a mile away earlier Thursday morning, according to police.

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They said a woman was shot in the leg inside a home on Pennsylvania Street around 8:45 a.m. during an apparent robbery. She was treated at ECMC for non-life-threating injures. Police believe the suspect then continued on to the substance abuse treatment facility.
A picture of the rifle the suspect is alleged to have had. (Jeff Preval/News 4)

Police said two male suspects from the incidents are in custody.

The police response at Alba de Vida caused a section of Virginia Street to be blocked off for several hours.

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