Just before police say 18-year-old Josiah Chandler fired several shots at his victim, he said, "You are gonna die tonight."
Officers were called to Church Street and Green Street around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday on reports of shots fired. There they found a 20-year-old male victim suffering multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to the Eastern Niagara Hospital before being flown by Mercy Flight to ECMC, where he is listed in critical condition.
According to witnesses, Chandler fired at least three shots at Colton Baker-Durst as he walked with a friend. Police say Chandler, who is black, shot at Baker-Durst, who is white, because of his race.
Lockport Police Chief Larry Eggert said, "It is a sensitive time with what's going on across the country. That had no bearing on this case at all quite frankly from what we've determined. In this case, based on our opinion and the District Attorney's opinion, we met the threshold [for a hate crime] and that's why we charged that way."
Police tracked down Chandler after identifying him as a suspect and after interviewing him arrested him on charges of second degree attempted murder as a hate crime, first degree assault and second degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Court documents reveal Baker-Durst was shot with a .38-caliber handgun, which police found. It was loaded and had its serial number scratched off.
Detectives did not release a motive for the crime but Chandler reportedly confessed to the crime.
Chandler was arraigned Wednesday afternoon and pleaded not guilty. He is being held in the Niagara County Jail on $250,000 bail.