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Reformed gang member talks about spike in violence

Posted at 11:19 PM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-06 23:25:47-05
A bullet lodged in 23-year-old Todd Timmons body is a constant reminder of the dangers of getting involved on the wrong side of the law.
 
"When I was in high school, I was about 16 and I joined a gang because I thought it was cool," Timmons said. 
 
 It was that activity that quickly got Timmons into trouble, and nearly killed. He was arrested and spent time at the Erie County Holding Center. It was there he realized he needed to make a change.
 
"It's never too late. You can always progress and achieve more," he said. 
 
Today, Timmons works with young kids, making sure they have a positive role model.
 
2017 is off to a violent start in Buffalo, there have been 15 homicides since the start of the New Year. All of them have been shootings. Anti-violence groups like Buffalo Peacemakers say they're trying to keep the peace.
 
"It's spiking for no particular reason. These are incidental things that are popping up and ramping up," said Pastor James Giles of the Buffalo Peacemakers.
 
Giles says programs like Peacemakers are essential to stopping the violence.
 
If this trend continues, 2017 is on track to become Buffalo's second-deadliest year of the past decade. 2014 was the deadliest so far, with 62 homicides.