BUFFALO, NEW YORK — During Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Buffalo, a sniper rifle fell off the roof of a building at 560 Delaware Ave., near Allen Street.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia confirmed the incident, stating that the department is investigating to prevent such an event from happening again, according to WIVB 4.
Photos from the scene show an officer looking down from a rooftop at the gun on the ground in a stark “Oh, no” moment, which narrowly missed parade attendees and a hotdog stand. It’s a pretty near thing, and while this event is horrifying, it could have been much, much worse.
Fortunately for all, no injuries were reported, and law enforcement officials confirmed that the gun would not have fired upon hitting the ground.
Gramaglia emphasized that the incident was not due to a lack of planning and that the security plan for the parade was thorough. That does seem to hold water — this appears to have been an error at the very base level, rather than some sort of strategic error.
The department is now examining protocols to identify any necessary changes. Legal analyst Barry Covert believes a civil lawsuit is unlikely since no injuries occurred.
The rifle reportedly fell as a Buffalo SWAT officer conducted routine surveillance from a building on Delaware Avenue, at which time officers left the rifle unattended and a gust of wind made the gun, tripod, and weighted bag fall off the building.
Buffalo Police are considering wind as a contributing factor and have launched an internal investigation. The rifle was recovered by Buffalo Police officers.