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Community and police rally against gun violence together after violent weekend

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 18:04:26-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Police and community members gathered at the Ferry Grider Homes on Donovan Drive to rally against the uptick in gun violence in Buffalo.

"Today I'm standing here protesting the violence that's taking place in this community, at this apartment complex. Right here," Pastor Tim Newkirk, of GYC Ministries and the Community Action Coalition of WNY, said.

Buffalo Police said Monday night four people were shot at the Ferry Grider Homes during a Fourth of July celebration. BPD says the youngest victim is a 3-year-old boy who's in critical condition.

"To know that I saw that little boy riding around on his little bike and it wasn't even hours ago. It's just too much to bear. It's disappointing. It's tragic. I'm at rage. I'm angry. I'm pissed off because who would do such a heinous crime? This is a mass shooting," Pastor Newkirk said.

Gary Dixon is the president of the BMHA Ferry and Grider Homes. He was at the party when the shooting occurred.

"The fireworks were still going on. But you don't know if it was the gun, the firecrackers but as the guns keep shooting, shooting, shooting. Then you figure, this isn't a game. It's time to duck and hide," Dixon said, "I'd say at least a hundred rounds. Little kids out there. Adults out there. Mothers, fathers, babies. It was like a massacre."

Pastor Newkirk arrived at the scene before ambulances had arrived.

"It was like WWII over here. All the bullets flying. People running. It was devastating to see all these kids running through the projects, screaming and hollering, saying somebody got shot. They just shot my baby. We need to do something. It was just too much to bear," Pastor Newkirk said.

Pastor Newkirk said families are now too afraid to step outside.

"Where are you safe at? You can't even play in this park because of the bloodshed that's going on in these projects and through these apartments. We need to take accountability," Pastor Newkirk said, "Washing that blood away... that memory will never go away. It never leaves your head. When you see blood, you see innocent victims. You see the flesh where the bullets ripped through, and the flesh is still on the ground."

The community is now begging for help.

"My job is to keep them alive. Keeping the little kids doing things. But I need resources. I need help. I'm looking for everybody to help me with these kids and growing kids and trying to do right by the neighborhood," Dixon said.

Tuesday afternoon police and community members stood shoulder to shoulder. They marched around the Ferry Grider Homes chanting, "No more violence. No more shooting. No more killing."

Community leaders said they want more police presence and for the community to cooperate with police.

"If we stand for this, then we're responsible. If we continue to let this happen in our community, be quiet and act like this isn't happening, then it's going to hit us right on our doorstep. We're in a warzone and it starts right here," Pastor Newkirk said.

Police are searching for a person of interest in the Donovan Drive shooting. They said a man was seen leaving the scene in pink pants and a dark t-shirt. Anyone with information can call their confidential tipline at 716-847-2255.