Cheektowaga Police chief says shooters intent “was to do significant harm”

CHEEKTOWAGA – Chief of Police David Zack says it’s safe to assume Travis Green’s intent “was to do significant harm” when he opened fire on the Dollar General store Tuesday afternoon.

Travis Green had previous contact with the Cheektowaga Police Department according to Chief of Police David Zack.

“He was not someone we were familiar with or that we had repeated encounters with,” said Chief Zack.

He classified the encounters as “minor incidents” and said most were related to vehicle and traffic encounters and a domestic incident. The last known contact with Mr. Green was in 2013.

Investigators, still in the early part of the investigation, have ruled out terrorism, but that may change pending the findings of the FBI.

The police say Green fired at least 20 bullets at the store.  He had 850 additional live rounds in his car and in loaded magazines.

“This individual was heavily armed, heavily equipt, he wore body armor, and it’s safe to assume that his intent was to do significant harm,” said Chief Zack.

He says the ATF is currently researching the background of the weapons recovered.

The suspect’s mother, Viola Green told Cheektowaga Chronicle that he purchased the guns after his step-father died around seven years ago.

Police said Green arrived at the store, entered the store at one point without a weapon, and also had some conflict with a customer before the shooting began.  It was unclear Wednesday morning if Green knew the customer.

“There’s a lot out there, and we’re just trying to verify the accuracy,” added Chief Zack.

During Green’s alleged rampage, a 53-year-old Cheektowaga resident was hit by a single gunshot and suffered a minor injury.  He was released from the hospital Tuesday night.

There is a video of the shooting, but the police cannot release it to maintain the integrity of the case.  They did, however, release dashcam footage taken from a Cheektowaga Police cruiser of Lt. Anthony Filipski tackling the suspect.

Green sustained a minor shoulder laceration that required stitches, but the police are not sure when the injury occurred.

Green was arraigned on six charges in Cheektowaga Town Court Wednesday morning; Attempted Murder 2nd, Criminal Use of a Firearm, Reckless Endangerment, Assault, Unlawful Use of Body Armor, and Resisting Arrest.

The two weapons recovered at the scene appear to be compliant under the New York SAFE Act, but Lt. Thomas Gerace says a gun inside the car had a feature that could bring additional charges under that act.

“There was a verticle foregrip or a side grip attached to it which would make that in violation of the New York SAFE Act to possess,” said Lt. Gerace.

The weapon the suspect used to spray the store with gunfire was a pump action rifle.

“It operates like a pump action shotgun.  Apparently, the frontend of the weapon is what ejects and inserts the next round out of the magazine,” added Lt. Gerace.

The clip in that rifle was a high capacity magazine which would violate the SAFE Act.  The magazine in the other weapon would not violate the act.  They could hold less than ten rounds.

“The one that was used, from appearances, appears to be in violation because it was more than ten rounds,” said Lt. Gerace.

Further evidence was recovered from an apartment at the Gardenvilliage Apartments Tuesday night, but the police would not disclose it pending the ongoing investigation.

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