Fruit Belt community comes together to curb violence

Posted at 5:55 PM, Jul 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-28 17:55:14-04

Over 100 people gathered at Buffalo's First Centennial Missionary Baptist Church Saturday morning to sort through solutions to end the shootings in the area. This meeting stemming from the two Grape Street shooting over the past month, including the death of 17-month-old Kyrie Johnson and his grandmother, Yvette.

“There’s a lot happening but what is not going to happen is silence," Ellicott District Council Member, Darius Pridgen, said. “We’re all victims, even the shooters. And at the end of the day, we all need to have that conversation in different pockets.”

Solutions discussed included more cameras, stronger relationships with authorities and breaking the silence. 

“They’ve had enough, they’re not going to tolerate this anymore. They’re willing to put up cameras and they’re willing to talk to law enforcement making sure there isn’t people coming into their commit reeking havoc," Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes said. 

Locals made their presence felt as well, Maria Miles, who lives in the neighborhood believes the solution starts in the home. 

“Mainly parents being involved, that’s where we have to start with our young. And educating our children," Miles said.

Others like community activist, Nate Boyd, believe the violence will end with employment. 

“Now we’ve talked about these solutions, the problems, over and over again but it all comes down to 'nothing stops a bullet like a job, nothing stops a bullet like a job,'” Boyd said. "All these jobs going on, Northland park being built up, Central Park being built up, construction going on everywhere in the city but you don’t see these young men there.”

Investigators confirm they have a person of interest in custody, related to the double-homicide on Grape street. that person is being held on an unrelated charge. Both the Buffalo Police Department and Crime Stoppers are offering up to $4,000 in rewards for any information leading to an arrest. 



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