so of course, the talk of the town was the gunman on the 190. i was supposed to deal roulette in the hotel, and got moved to high limit. i was never so happy to get moved to baccarat ever, cuz that meant i got to watch the standoff until the end.
here’s one with channel 4 commentary: http://youtube.com/watch?v=V3m5Ncv5mIE
the whole thing started around 6pm and ended about quarter to 9. the coverage was amusing, all the speculation and stupid questions (like “what is on the truck’s hood next to the waterbottle?”), but i guess when you have 3 hours of live air time to fill you need to talk about something.
it turns out that my friend carlo happened to be on the 190 when it started, and was the 3rd car stopped by police after they had stopped the guy. he thought it must be an accident and looked over a few lanes and actually saw the guy standing there with the gun. he looked at the cop and was like “wtf aren’t you going to get me out of here?!” after about 15 minutes the cops managed to get carlo and a few other cars away. crazy.
buffalo news article:
A 66-year-old Vietnam Veteran formerly from Western New York was captured Monday evening by State Police and a Buffalo police SWAT team after a nearly three-hour standoff on the southbound Niagara Section of the Thruway in front of hundreds of spectators in Riverside.
The incident began shortly before 6 p.m., when Hernando, Fla. resident James Gilchriese and his 50-year-old girlfriend, Patricia S. Meckley of Homosassa, Fla., were spotted by passing motorists in an apparent physical domestic dispute while traveling south on the Interstate 190.
A state trooper pulled over the couple’s silver-tan pick-up truck just north of the near the Ontario Street exit.
“Upon stopping the vehicle, the trooper noticed the male subject in the vehicle brandishing a handgun,” said State Police Capt. Michael Nigrelli.
Meckley fled the truck. At that point, Gilchriese threatened suicide and put the loaded gun to his head.
The incident snarled rush-hour traffic for miles after troopers and Buffalo police shut down the Thruway from Porter Avenue to the Youngmann Expressway.
The standoff drew a mass of onlookers who lined Niagara Street and a large grassy area nearby to catch a glimpse of Gilchriese, who was dressed in shorts and a General Motors jacket, and often walked around the outside of his truck. In one hand, he talked with hostage negotiators on his cell phone while the other hand held a gun to his head.
“It was a tense stand-off many times,” Nigrelli said.
After a few hours of “up and down” negotiations, police made their move at 8:47 p.m.
According to Nigrelli: “As we were approaching darkness, we were losing the battle here because the tactical edge goes to the subject.”
SWAT members swiftly approached the pick-up truck, where Gilchriese was then sitting. A bright flash and loud bang ripped through the twilight air as police pulled Gilchriese from the vehicle and placed him on the ground. He was then taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center with minor injuries, authorities said.
Gilchriese will undergo a psychiatric examination at ECMC before facing criminal charges. Those charges were still being determined by State Police late Monday.
“We inconvenienced traffic on the northbound of the I-190 and the southbound of the I-190 for a few hours,” Nigrelli said. “It’s a small price to pay to save someone’s life.”