The Erie County Medical Examiner's office has ruled the death of Buffalo Police officer Patty Parete a homicide. Parete died Saturday after living for more than six years with injuries she suffered while being shot in the line of duty.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Multiple sources within the police department say officials are now asking the Erie County District Attorney to bring up murder charges against the shooter, Varner Harris Junior.
Outside of confirming the Medical Examiner's determination, the Buffalo Police Department will not be making a statement Tuesday about the case or the possibility of new charges.
Harris Jr. is serving out a term of 30 years to life for the attempted murder of Parete and her partner, Carl Andolina. A bullet paralyzed Parete from the neck down.
Andolina, released a statement Tuesday afternoon. It reads, in part:
"Patty spent the last six years fighting every day. She was and always will be an inspiration to everyone she touched.
May God bless her and give strength to her loved ones. And may no one among us forget her service and sacrifice."
Murder charges would have to be brought up by the Erie County District Attorney. We've reached out several times over the last few days by phone and in person, but have received no indication from the District Attorney.
Buffalo: Parete death ruled a homicide
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Western New York's State Senate delegation honored Parete in Albany on Tuesday morning.
Senator Tim Kennedy introduced a resolution honoring the fallen officer on the Senate floor.
Senators Pat Gallivan, Mark Grisanti and George Maziarz also spoke about her death. They say incidents like this remind the public how dangerous law enforcement officers have it on the streets.
"Patty Perete's death is a sad and sobering reminder of the dangers that law enforcement officers face every day protecting us," said Kennedy, (D).
Western New York's senators agreed that elected officials can honor her memory by enacting tougher penalties against those who hurt or kill law enforcement officers.