Parete was shot in the line of duty six years ago. YNN's Kevin Jolly talked to then-Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson and current commissioner Daniel Derenda about the shooting and whether they think the man convicted should now face murder charges.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — "That night destroyed two police officers' careers, two police officers' lives, took this officer's life," said H. McCarthy Gipson.
It's a day Gipson, the former Buffalo Police Commissioner, will never forget.
Six years ago, Officers Carl Andolina and Patty Parete responded to a fight call at West Chippewa Street and Whitney Place. Parete was shot twice during a struggle with the suspect.
"For any police commissioner, any officer, to get a call like that when you find out that another officer has been shot in the line of duty, severely injured. To rush to the hospital and see all the fellow officers who are there. Everybody is traumatized by events such as this," said Gipson.
Gipson was among the hundreds who came out to pay their respects to Officer Parete, who died Saturday; six years after she was shot in the line of duty.
Earlier this week, the Erie County Medical Examiner ruled Parete's death a homicide, resulting from the injuries she suffered in the shooting. The man convicted in the shooting, Varner Harris Jr., is currently serving 30-years to life for attempted murder. Those charges could now be upgraded to homicide.
"Well, I think that's... it's appropriate. She never really recovered from the effects of the shooting," said Gipson.
"I don't think today's the time and place to discuss that. We're here today to remember Officer Parete and keep her in our thoughts and prayers and her family," said Daniel Derenda.
Commissioner Derenda declined to comment on whether Harris should be charged with homicide for Parete's death. Derenda said today was a day to honor Parete and her service to the community.
"She was a dedicated, hard-working officer who died in the line of duty and we're here today to pay tribute to her to mourn her and we want the community to have her and her family in our thought and prayers," said Derenda.
It will now be up to District Attorney Frank Sedita to decide whether Parete's shooter will be charged with homicide.