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Community begging for end to gun violence

"Somebody's got to do something"
Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 18:21:03-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — A latest round of gun violence in Buffalo has shaken community members.

Three people were shot dead at a home in the 100 block of Ashley Streetin the city’s Broadway-Fillmore section early Thursday morning.

Coroner arrives on Ashley Street murder scene.

Hours earlier, there was a shooting of two men and two boys at JFK Park in the city’s Ellicott neighborhood.

“This is bad — if this happened like this last night, somebody's got to do something — somebody has too,” declared Edwin Wilson, Buffalo resident.

JFK park is a quaint park off Hickory Street, in the shadow of downtown Buffalo. But it became a crime scene early Wednesday evening.

Shootings at JFK Park in Buffalo.

A 21 and 24-year-old were shot along with an 8 and 14-year-old.

Buffalo Police Deputy Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia says a vehicle pulled up at the park with multiple shooters in what appeared to be a targeted shooting.

Police say a dice game was being played at the park, but the children were not involved.

“We’re looking to identify who was involved in that dice game. The unfortunate thing is there were a lot people that were out at JFK and we've got no witnesses — nobody has come forward,” explained Gramaglia.

The 8 and 14-year-old were hit by bullets while playing on the basketball court.

Basketball courts where 8 and 14-year-olds were shot.

Both children were transported by ambulance to Oishei Children’s Hospital.

The 8-year-old was grazed on the ear by a bullet. The 14-year-old, shot in the chest, but both were treated and released.

“We’re in one of those situations where appears to be a targeted shooting that now has significant collateral damage and two young boys were shot and we have nobody coming forward,” Gramaglia stated.

Both men were dropped off at hospitals by a private care. The 24-year-old was shot in the leg and treated and released at Children’s.

Police removing crime tape at JFK Park.

The 21-year-old remains in serious condition at ECMC after being shot in the back.

Edwin Wilson lives nearby the park was caught off guard hearing that there was a shooting of four people.

He says he likes coming to the park.

“It’s troubling — it makes you nervous because you want to come to a park to enjoy and relax and you want the kids to be able to enjoy and relax,” Wilson remarked. “And for something like this to happen — it's showing you that people are heartless and they're not caring about other people."

The violence against children has members of the Buffalo Peacemakers even more shaken.

Pastor James Giles & Murray Holman.

“They're hitting innocent people — innocent people — babies — come on now — come on brothers. We are asking our brothers — you all come on now,” declared Pastor James Giles.

Giles and Holman stood side by side begging for an end to the gun violence.

“Brothers just stop doing what you're doing — come talk to us — we'll get you a job that you don't have to be shooting bones in order to make it work,” Holman noted.

And although the youngest 8-year-old victim was not seriously injured, Holman still considered it “a life threatening injury.”

“Because that kid has been traumatized by that bullet hitting his body and every where he goes now he's going to be thinking he don't want to go to a basketball court,” reflected Holman.

BPD .jpg
Buffalo Police car at JFK Park.

Wilson is calling on the police to be more visible in his neighborhood to help strengthen relationships with those who live there. But he says nothing should make anyone open fire in a public park.

“No violence is good, but to put innocent people in the way of your problems is — just not good,” Wilson remarked.

Gramaglia says at this point they are searching for suspects in both shootings.

He told reporters the location of the homicides on Ashley Street is believed to be a drug house, but there are no specific motives at this time.

Buffalo Police on scene.

One victim has been positively identified and police have tentative ID’s on the two other victims.

Police received a call just after 5 Thursday morning, but when they arrived it appeared the caller left the scene.

Pastor Giles says they know exactly were criminals are getting the guns from. He says many are pouring into Buffalo form Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Atlanta.

"New York State’s got the toughest gun laws and we probably got the most guns on the city streets,” Giles said.