BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The City of Buffalo has had at least one shooting a day, for the past six days. The trend spans from Saturday, June 20th through Thursday, June 25th.
The shootings occurred in nine different locations, pictured in the below map.
A summer spike in violence is common, but Pastor James Giles with the Buffalo Peacemakers said the pandemic is an added factor.
“It’s only exacerbating, what are the normal conditions that happen when its hot, and people are coming out, they’re congregating in spaces, they’re drinking,” Giles said.
Giles said there are new anxieties that can lead to shorter fuses. Additionally, he said the programs, community centers, and gyms where people go to release anxiety and energy have been closed.
There have been 15 victims since Saturday, according to the Buffalo Police Department. The below graph shows how this June's gun violence compares with years past. With a few days left, this month has two more shootings than the average June when looking at the prior three years.
COVID-19 is affecting the way Buffalo Peacemakers and other anti-violence organizations can do their outreach.
“We’re not meeting up in spaces, we’re not getting groups to meet, I’m not doing conflict resolutions between groups in the back anymore,” Giles said.
Community leaders said COVID-19 is a small part, but it is not the root of the violence. Giles cited denial of opportunities, poor resources in schools, and easy access to guns as some roots of the problem.