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Charges announced in May 20 murder at Anchor Bar

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Michael Mroziak, WBFO
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The Buffalo Police Department and Acting Erie County District Attorney announced Monday that a suspect in a brazen shooting death inside one of Buffalo's most iconic restaurants is now charged with second degree murder. The alleged killer, investigators revealed, is already in custody on an unrelated charge.

Acting District Attorney Michael Flaherty, at a news conference held inside the DA's offices, identified the suspect as 26-year-old Jorge Suarez of Buffalo. He is accused of walking into the Anchor Bar on the evening of May 20 around 7 p.m. and shooting 32-year-old Freddie Dizon of Buffalo as the latter worked in the establishment.

An Erie County Grand Jury will now receive the case.

"What was so disturbing about this particular murder... is where it happened, in the Anchor Bar during the dinner hour," Flaherty said. "The public was alarmed, but the public was never in danger."

Dizon, as it was indicated in previous reports, was targeted in the attack. Flaherty says the public was also not in danger for a great deal of the time during which investigators were pursuing the case, because Suarez was since brought into custody for an unrelated crime.

Few other details about the case were discussed. But investigators credited the public for providing critical information that helped them with the probe.

"I don't want to harm the case in any way, as far as the prosecution goes," said Dennis Richards, Chief of Detectives for Buffalo Police. "What I can say and just reiterate is that there's an awful lot of information that comes to the attention of the police in any homicide investigation. Ear witnesses, eyewitnesses, camera, video, any number of things that come to our attention that have to be vetted out information, in this particular case it took some four months to reach this conclusion of an arrest."

Flaherty sharply denied that the timing of this announcement, on the eve of a primary election in which he is running, coincides with Tuesday's voting.

"I didn't file the charge," Flaherty said, telling reporters it was Buffalo Police who did so.

"If I could have had this announcement, or if the Buffalo Police could have had this announcement back in May, I think the public would have been a lot more satisfied. We all wish we could have done it, but that's just the way it works."

Richards added that every homicide case is unique, pointing to a cold case from the 1980s in which an arrest was finally made last week.

The Acting DA and Buffalo Police also announced the arrest of a suspect in a murder that occured in Buffalo last week. Marco Sweat, age 35, is charged in the September 2 fatal shooting of 51-year-old Charles Wyatt on East Delevan.  

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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