Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 6, 2013

Hundreds attend funeral fallen officer

Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — The gunshot injuries that paralyzed Patricia Parete from the neck down six years ago were an affront to the independent, Harley Davidson-riding police officer, her doctor and friend said at her funeral Wednesday, describing Parete as an unwilling and difficult patient who could be as tender as she was tough.

"She never surrendered her core strength, her dignity, her pride," Dr. Christopher Kerr said inside Trinity Episcopal Church, where hundreds of police officers, friends and family members filled nearly every pew.

Parete, who recently had been under hospice care, died Saturday. Her death was ruled a homicide, but the exact cause was not released.

Now prosecutors are weighing whether to pursue a murder charge against the then-teenage shooter who fired multiple rounds at Parete and her partner as they chased him down a Buffalo street while investigating a fight at a convenience store in December 2006.

One bullet struck Parete's bulletproof vest while another pierced her face and severed her spine. Officer Carl Andolina was struck three times in the neck, arm and chest but was able to tackle the 18-year-old shooter to the ground. Andolina survived.

Varner Harris Jr., now 25, is serving 30 years to life in prison after pleading guilty in 2007 to two counts of attempted murder. Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III had not yet decided Wednesday whether to seek a murder charge, his office said. Sedita has said it's unlikely that Harris, who was on probation for the robbery of a pizza delivery man at the time of the shooting, would ever be paroled.

The day before the funeral, Andolina issued a statement urging people to celebrate his partner's life and embrace her family.

"Now is not the time to relive the incident which shattered Patty Parete's life," the statement said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results