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Local leaders plead to the public—put the guns down

Posted at 5:52 PM, May 28, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Officials in Buffalo and Erie County paint a grim picture of the violence that could come this summer on city streets.

“We love you we don’t want you shot, we don’t want you killed,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

Local leaders are pleading to the public—put the guns down.

“We know between Memorial Day and Labor Day, shootings and homicides go up,” Flynn said.

So far this year, 137 people have been shot in the City of Buffalo. 34 people have died from being shot, two, people died from being beaten, two people died from being stabbed and one person from being strangled.

“We have so many guns that have come here illegally. Every time we have a youth group I ask them how many people could put their hand on a gun if they needed to…90% raise their hand,” said Pastor James Giles of WNY Peacemakers.

Bullets don’t have names or ages. Bullets don’t discriminate—that we see in the data of shootings and homicides in the City of Buffalo.

Of those 137 people shot, 26 are 21 years old or younger. The youngest shooting victim is just 12 years old.

From February 13 to February 17, 2021, five people were shot in five days. Each of those shot were 14, 15, and 16 year olds.

“We’re not even done with this year and we’re up 100% from last year,” Flynn said of city shootings and homicides.

Flynn says historically, 1994 was the highest year for homicides in Erie County with 92. He says with 39 so far year to date, we’re on a dangerous path.

According to numbers provided by BPD, 15 women have been shot and 7 killed in Buffalo this year.

Leaders from government, police, clergy and the community are all coming together to do what they can. The problem they say is that the community doesn’t always help provide police with any information. DA Flynn says that’s in part due to what could happen at a potential trial

“When it comes to trial, now there’s no more secrecy. Now, they’re on the witness stand having to testify.”

Absent from today’s press conference was a representative from Mayor Byron Brown’s administration. Flynn’s office says the Brown administration was invited. We asked a spokesperson why a representative from Brown’s office did not attend, and we are told that the Mayor was planning on attending but is in self isolation due to possible exposure to COVID-19.

India Walton, who is running against Mayor Brown for Buffalo Mayor issued a statement saying:

“I'm not surprised to see that Byron Brown's administration was absent from this effort to address gun violence in Buffalo. For 16 years, he's failed to offer real solutions to this problem. Instead of investing in our people, he's invested in over-policing our people. The police budget is as inflated as ever, yet violent crime is up and so is poverty.

Walton added, “The best way to reduce crime is to eradicate poverty by providing people with living-wage jobs.”

If you know anything about any shooting or crime in the city of Buffalo you’re asked to call 716-847-2255.