Murder arrest means answers for Buffalo family

Posted at 11:37 PM, Mar 17, 2017

Memories of Sperry Park fill Larry Watkins' mind; the good ones and the bad ones.

“He had got off work,” recalled Larry Watkins.

It’s a park next to Harriet Ross Tubman School on Buffalo’s east side, where he would bring his kids when they were young.

“We heard the shots ring out,” added Watkins.

The park is the place of his worst memory.

“I see my son on the curb holding his neck,” said Watkins. He was the first to tend to his mortally wounded son, Laron. He was 21-years-old. 

Sperry Park, on that early August morning, was the site of one of 44 Buffalo homicides in 2016. Until Thursday, 33 remained unsolved.

Larry admits, he had doubts that a suspect would be caught. But, he was committed to do what he could to help police.

In October, he placed information cards on balloons and released them. Hoping he would reach someone who knew something.

The night of the crime, the detective working this case, made a promise to the grieving father.


“I promise I'm going to get who is responsible for this. I promise you that,” Watkins remembered.

Despite a low solve rate in the city, the promise was kept.

On Thursday, the Buffalo Police announced the arrest of 18-year-old Jaylin Wiggins. He's charged with the murder of Laron Watkins. A tip led to the arrest.

“I just feel good to be able to see that his mother will know there will be some justice for her son,” said Watkins.