BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New data from the Buffalo Police Department shows a decrease in gun violence from 2021 to 2022, year to date. Buffalo Police data shows nearly a 40% decrease in non-fatal shootings so far this year compared to 2021.
"Less people are getting shot and less people are getting murdered. That's always a good thing for any community to have," Pastor James Giles, president and CEO of Back to Basics Outreach Ministries and coordinator for the Western New York Peacemakers, said.
According to Buffalo Police data, from June 1 to July 5, 2021, there were 125 non-fatal shootings and 36 fatal shootings. There were 161 total shootings throughout the first half of the year.
The 2022 data revealed there have been 80 non-fatal shootings, 25 fatal shootings, and 105 shootings total.
Last year by this time, there were 42 homicides. This year, 39 people lost their lives at the hands of gun violence. 10 of the lives lost were taken during the mass shooting at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue.
"People that are normally not concerned about this, they're going to want to be concerned about this now," Pastor Giles said.
The anti-violence community says the mass shooting was a turning point for community groups across Western New York.
"Ever since Saturday the 14th, more entities and more organizations have come out and stuck their head out to see what it takes in order for them to get involved in the community," Pastor Tim Newkirk, of GYC Ministries, said.
The anti-violence community said their collective engagement with the community has helped contribute to the decrease in shootings.
Buffalo Police said their new "micro-hotspot" crime plan, where they target specific areas prone to violence based on real-time data, has also led to the down-tick in violence.
Police said this has allowed them to arrest frequent trigger pullers and gun traffickers.
However, the anti-violence community and police said there is much further to go.
"We want to see it down to single digits. I'd like to see the day where all guns are eradicated from the face of the earth," Pastor Giles said.