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Buffalo leaders give explanation for uptick in gun violence

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 17:44:00-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo religious leaders believe the recent uptick in violent crime stems from stress.

That's according to Back to Basics President and CEO, Pastor James Giles.

"It's out of the ordinary," Giles said. "We're seeing it because psychologically people are more tense, they're more stressed out, and they're less patient."

Shooting incidents are up 48% in the city of Buffalo. From January 1 to June 29, 2019, there were 64 shootings, compared to 95 shootings so far in 2020.

That includes the most recent homicide on Koons Avenue where a 21-year-old woman was fatally shot and run over, and another woman was also shot. She is recovering from her injuries.

Neighbors said hundreds packed the street Saturday night for a party. Some question why the police didn't break it up before things turned violent.

According to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Buffalo Police didn't receive any complaints for the crowd. He defended his department on Monday, and said people should hold themselves accountable for their own actions.

"I don't think it's a question of should the Buffalo Police have shut it down sooner. I think it's a question of why did 300 people go to a parking lot and try to hold a party," the mayor said.

Police haven't released the victim's name. No arrests have been made.