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Pastor weighs causes of recent city violence


Two men who were shot Tuesday evening are the latest victims in a recent burst of street violence in the City of Buffalo. The victims were shot in the leg at Genesee and Leslie streets around 5 p.m. Tuesday on Genesee Street on Buffalo's East Side. Their injuries are not life-threatening.

Police not saying much about what happened. The department is dealing with a violent stretch of nine shootings which have left six dead on both the East and West sides. Police say some may be related to others.

Pastor James Giles says some of the killings have been mistakes, with the wrong person was killed. The president of Back to Basics Outreach Ministry and a longtime anti-violence activist says it's often a matter of wrong time, wrong place.

"Those individuals were not part of the gang. They may have been shot by a gang member or someone associated with a gang, but the victims had nothing to do with gangs, the last three homicides we've had in the City of Buffalo. That's the real tragedy of what's going on with this mass shooting we are having," said Giles.

Giles says there is tension between groups and gangs made worse by social media. He says when members of one group see someone from another, the guns come out and the death toll rises.

The prominent pastor says the only thing that can break the cycle of violence is for those who know something to come forward and pass along what they know to police or an intermediary.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.