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Buffalo man charged with shooting witness, DA calls victim a 'hero'

Michael Mroziak

A Buffalo man is charged with witness tampering for allegedly shooting a person who was scheduled to testify hours later in a murder trial.

The Erie County District Attorney's office said Dayquain Trent was arrested two weeks ago on a gun possession charge. On Tuesday, a sealed indictment was opened in State Supreme Court, saying he had used the weapon to shoot the unnamed witness.

"The victim in this case is a hero," said DA John Flynn. "This is an individual that was subjected to an extreme act of violence but they still believed in what they were doing. They believed that they had a civic obligation to see to it that this person that murdered this woman was held accountable for it and they showed up and they testified."

Flynn explained how the witness was shot on the East Side.

"After he was shot, went to ECMC that morning, was patched up, got a sling and still came into court at 9:30 and testified," he said, "and he testified with a sling after being shot three hours earlier, came into court and testified against Lemuele Jackson."

Flynn would not say if the gun had been used in other crimes, after Trent was arraigned on a total of four charges. Trent faces up to 25 years in jail and is being held without bail.

The crime grows out of an incident in August of last year when two groups scuffled outside a house party on Hagen Street in Buffalo's Genesee Moselle neighborhood. Jackson came back with a gun and killed one person and wounded another.

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.