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Buffalo Police investigating string of murders

COMMISSIONER-DERENDA.JPG
Eileen Buckley
/
WBFO News

Buffalo Police continue investigating a string of recent shootings, some of which were deadly. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley reports police are urging help from the public.

"In recent days we've had several homicides take place. We are investigating. We can't release a lot of details," said Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda. Derenda spoke while standing inside police headquarters downtown to discuss a rash of recent homicides.

Since December 12, six people have died. Some of those murders involved teenagers.

"What I can say is that we believe several of the homicides may be related. We don't believe they are random acts. We believe it's quite possible the suspects where known to the victims. We are investigating," stated Derenda.

WBFO News inquired whether the shootings they might be gang related.

"We're looking at possible gang activity here, yes," said Derenda.

On Friday, on the city's West Side, a 16-year-old teenage girl was killed by gunfire on  the 500 block of Grant Street, not far from the Buffalo State College campus.  On Sunday, on the East Side, a 15-year-old boy was struck and injured by bullets in the 200-block of Jewett Avenue. That shooting was near the scene of a fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Niagara Falls man a week ago. The 15-year-old, from Sunday's shooting, was last listed in stable condition at the Erie County Medical Center. 

"I believe all homicide are difficult regardless of age. One homicide is one too many," noted Derenda.

In another separate incidents over the weekend, a 23-year-old woman also died from injuries in a shooting in the first block of Manhattan. Sunday morning, a 44-year old man died from gun shot wounds after a shooting at William and Spring Streets.

Commissioner Derenda noted it is difficult to get witnesses to come forward.

"We know there are individuals out there who can help us in these cases. We need them to come forward.  Anybody with information is asked to call our police tip line at 847-2255," pleaded Derenda.