Murder Victims Were Preparing for Health Care Careers

August 16, 2010 Updated Aug 16, 2010 at 9:46 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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August 16, 2010 Updated Aug 16, 2010 at 9:46 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - Three of the people shot outside the City Grill in downtown Buffalo on Saturday morning have now been released from the hospital, but four victims will never be going home again.

Shawntia McNeil, 27, Tiffany Wilhite, 32, Danyell Mackin, 30, Willie McCaa, 26, were all killed in the early morning shooting spree.

McNeil and Wilhite were preparing for careers in health care when their lives were cut short by a still unidentified shooter. Wilhite just graduated in May from a program at the University at Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center in downtown Buffalo, while McNeil was preparing for the fall semester at the school. Both young women had goals of working in the health care field.

"Shawntia of course was working very hard to complete her G.E.D. and get on the road to either college or other types of vocational training," says Danis J. Gehl, Ph.D. with U.B. "At the educational opportunity center here at U.B. we are really a family and we feel it when we have a loss."

As faculty and students grieve the summer session is continuing at the school, and a few blocks away on Main Street business is getting back to usual too at the City Grill.

The restaurant re-opened for lunch on Monday but reminders of what happened on Saturday are still visible nearby. There's a growing makeshift memorial to the victims near the restaurant entrance, and detectives again spent part of Monday combing the area for clues as to who's responsible for the violence. An unsolved crime this horrific with so many witnesses is leading to a growing chorus of voices calling for those witnesses to start talking.

"Nobody wants to be labeled as a snitch. Well we say that a snitch is somebody who commits a crime and gets caught and tells on his partners. We say if you witness a crime and had nothing at all to do with it you are considered a witness and you have the responsibility to come forward and help," says Arlee Daniels, Chairman of the Stop the Violence Coalition.