BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Shootings in Buffalo have increased 200 percent since 2019, and just this week, seven people were shot 12 hours apart.
“There are far too many guns on our streets in Buffalo,” Deputy Police Commissioner, Joseph Gramaglia, said. “We are taking a lot of guns off the streets. When you take more guns off the streets, that means more guns are coming into the area or they are being made available through other methods."
Where are these guns coming from?
“We do know the majority of guns are coming from New York State through gun tracing,” Gramaglia said. “There are various guns coming from out-of-state, and we know the locations."
So far, in 2021, there have been more than 40 homicides in Buffalo.
What is causing the violent use of those guns?
Pastor Dwayne Jones said he believes unemployment and isolation due to the pandemic is escalating violence.
"Now everybody is on the streets,” Jones said. “Sometimes people have this territorial presence that other people come into the neighborhood, and then one thing escalates to another."
A 2020 study shows that nearly a third of Buffalo Niagara region residents live in or near the poverty line.
“Poverty and crime coexist,” Jones said. “I think if we get people working and get people more involved with faith-based projects that we hope the number will go down in the every near future."
Why are the police not stopping these crimes?
The Buffalo Police Union President, John Evans, said criminals know police can only do so much.
"They're going to do what they are going to do,” Evans said. “The odds of them getting caught are slim. I believe that's their mindset. The pressures put on police officers today is not worth sacrificing everything you have to get that gun off the street."