Tonawanda News — NIAGARA FALLS — Police say one of their own was the target of gunfire early Saturday morning and they are hunting for a suspect.
The trouble started at about 3 a.m., when officers responded to 911 calls of shots being fired between a red car and green van. As officers begin a search for the vehicles, they received a call of an accident at Ninth Street and Ferry Avenue involving a green van.
Officers at the crash scene quickly discovered a gunshot hole on the passenger side of the van. Two passengers in the vehicle told police they had been involved in an incident with a Dodge Charger.
Minutes later, two patrol officers spotted an orange Charger in the 600 block of 15th Street. When they attempted to stop the car, the passenger jumped out and began running.
A veteran Falls officer began to run after the passenger.
“As the officer was chasing the suspect, he stopped and held up what appeared to be a rifle with both of his hands on it,” Falls Police Superintendent Bryan DalPorto said. “He then fired a shot at the officer and the officer returned fire, firing one shot.”
Neither the officer nor the suspect were hit. After the gunfire, the officer lost sight of the suspect, who is described as “a black male, about six feet tall.”
While the passenger from the Charger was being chased, police were able to finally stop the car at 15th Street and Ferry Avenue. Officers took the driver into custody.
Rashaun M. Dix, 439 26th St., Apt. 1, was charged with unlawfully fleeing from police and several vehicle and traffic law violations.
The Niagara County Sheriffs Office K-9 Unit and the New York State Parks Police assisted in the search for the gunman.
Investigators said neither Dix nor the occupants of the van were cooperative in explaining what triggered the exchange of gunfire between them. The explanations were described as “sketchy.”