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Community members speak out after multiple teens shot in Buffalo in less than 48 hours

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Posted at 10:09 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 22:13:08-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Four teenagers have been shot in less than 48 hours in Buffalo.

"It's something that struck out of the blue. You're dealing with kids. you're dealing with youth. You're dealing with basketball, football, cheer-leading and dance. Those are the normal things you grow up trying to get your kids involved in. Then there's this wave of violence that's sprung through our own kids," Pastor Tim Newkirk, GYC Ministries, said.

Tuesday afternoon, a 17-year-old girl was shot and killed in a house on Koons Avenue. A 19-year-old man was also shot.

Then, at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, a 15-year-old boy was shot on Grider Street. Police said the shooting occurred inside a home.

22 hours later, a 17-year-old girl was shot inside her home on Jefferson Avenue. Police said shots were fired outside the girl's home, hitting her when she was inside.

Police do not believe these shootings were connected.

"It's very concerning when we have juveniles being shot. The unfortunate thing is there are a great number of those cases where they are targeted due to some activities they are involved with. We certainly have some cases of crossfire where they're too close to other events going on," Buffalo Police Deputy Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.

Anti-violence groups across Buffalo said they are alarmed by the young ages of shooting victims and those arrested in connection to shootings. They said they are doing everything they can to curb violence among teens.

"Let's see if we can resolve the issue before it gets worse than it is because what they don't know and what they cannot see is the pain that that bullet causes even after the death of somebody," Pastor James Giles, CEO and President of Back to Basics Outreach Ministries, said.

Buffalo police arrested a 19-year-old in connection with the 17-year-old girl's death on Koons Avenue hours after the shooting took place. Police credit the quick arrest to good police work and the community's help. They are currently searching for a second suspect who is 15-years-old.

But anti-violence groups said curbing this violence among teens requires the community's help. They said the community, and those who witness these crimes, need to report what they saw.

"They say it takes a village to raise a child, well now it's time to step up and be that village," Pastor Kenneth Simmons, a leader of MAD DADS of Buffalo, said. "This is not the norm. Killing a brother and killing a sister is not the norm. It's not a subculture. I'm hearing people say its become a subculture. No it's not. We cannot continue to accept murder and death and killing and chaos, and negative things in our community as a part of our culture. That's not our culture. That's not our history."