Suspect charged with the murder of Lackawanna man

Posted at 12:09 PM, Aug 10, 2016

Police made an arrest in the death of 23-year-old Robert Wheeler, of Lackawanna.

Christian Gillie was charged with second degree murder and arraigned in the hospital by a Buffalo City Court judge. The 20-year-old was there to be treated for injuries related to the case.

Gillie is accused of killing Wheeler inside his Johnson Street home Tuesday morning. A family friend told 7 Eyewitness News that Wheeler "died a hero" while trying to protect his family from an intruder. Police say Wheeler was stabbed more than 20 times.

According to the family friend, Gillie broke into the home through a first floor window, and went upstairs where Wheeler was sleeping. The woman told 7 Eyewitness News reporter Ali Touhey that Wheeler managed to get away and alert his mother, who was asleep downstairs, that he had been stabbed, who did it, and to call 911. 

Gillie was taken to the hospital following the attack. He is due in court Friday morning for a felony hearing.

A wake will be held for Wheeler at Colonial Memorial Chapel on South Park Avenue in Lackawanna from 2-8pm on Thursday. There will be a funeral service at the chapel at 9:30am on Friday.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Wheeler's family pay for his funeral expenses. There will also be a fundraiser held on Thursday from 9pm-midnight at the Tudor Lounge at 335 Franklin Street in Buffalo.