By Rich Place

An armed suspect was shot by two Erie County Sheriff’s Office deputies during a confrontation Sunday evening at Country Fair at the corner of South Cascade Drive and Route 39, the sheriff’s office reported.

Nicholas Krencik, 34, with addresses in Ashford and Collins, was identified as the suspect during a press conference held by the sheriff’s office on Monday afternoon. Authorities have been told by medical professionals he is expected to survive following surgery at Erie County Medical Center.

Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard said on Monday that Krencik’s motivation is still unclear.

“Our investigation into his mental background and his criminal background are continuing,” he said.

According to the sheriff’s office, deputies responded to the report of a man with a sawed-off shotgun inside the store at about 10:20 p.m. on Sunday. Prior to the arrival of law enforcement, Howard said the individual left the store and fired at least one round in the parking lot.

“About the time our deputies arrived, indications are another round was fired,” Howard said, noting no one else was injured besides the individual.

“Repeated orders were given to the individual to stop and to drop the firearm,” Howard said. “The individual continued to advance toward two of the deputies. When he was so close as to convince the deputies that their own safety was in immediate threat, each deputy fired a single round at the individual, one of which struck him in the lower chest area.”

According to the sheriff’s office, Krencik is on parole for conviction of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and had previously violated parole for assaulting another individual.

Howard said there were about a dozen customers and employees inside the store at the time of the incident. He said he was happy to report no bystanders were injured and also praised the response time of his deputies.

“They arrived within two minutes of the original call,” he said. “The entire thing was over within four minutes from the time the original call was received. We are all very grateful it turned out without any additional human being injured. I am pleased with this outcome.”

The highest, most likely charge for Krencik is second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, Howard said, although he advised that could change depending on the outcome of the investigation.

Sheriff detectives, members of the Crime Scene Unit and the Professional Standards Division are investigating the incident, and the deputies who responded to the call are cooperating with investigators, according to the sheriff’s office.