Activists implore neighbors to talk about shooting

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – As two children fight to recover from being shot Monday evening on the east side of Buffalo, anti-violence activists went door-to-door, encouraging residents and take back their neighborhood and help police catch the shooter.

An eerie quiet and emptiness seems to have fallen on Fennimore Avenue after a 3-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy were shot Monday night.

On a normal afternoon, according to neighbors, there would be people all over this block but every time a crime like this happens, the activists say, people get scared; scared to be outside and scared to say what they know. That’s exactly what they’re trying to avoid, by walking the streets.

Murray Holman, executive director of Stop the Violence Coalition, said, “Where is the community? We want the community out here. We want this neighborhood filled with people. Not just Buffalo Peacemakers and individual organizations, but everybody should be coming out their door right now and saying, ‘Look. That’s it. We’re tired of this.’ We are here to take back our streets.”

Members of Peacemakers, Buffalo United Front, Stop the Violence Coalition and F.A.T.H.E.R.S. walked through the Fennimore Ave. neighborhood Tuesday, asking people not to hide in their homes in fear, encouraging them to tell the police anything they know.

Earlier Tuesday, while answering questions from News 4, Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said, “For us to do our job, we need people to get involved. And quite often, they do. Call our tipline, at 847-2255. And again, we need all the help we can get on this one.”

Both boys are in critical condition at Women and Children’s Hospital, but are expected to survive. Derenda says the 14-year-old may have been the intended target.

According to neighbors, a crowd of teen-aged boys has recently started coming from outside the neighborhood, loitering on the porch of a vacant house at 49 Fennimore. Several neighbors have told News 4, they’ve been afraid something like this would happen.

Dorothy said, “The gang of kids hang out, all hours of the night. There was like, 14 children over on that porch the other day.”

Some of the Peacemakers say they won’t stop going door-to-door until the shooter is found.

“We will come here every day if [that’s what] it takes, for us to make sure our streets are cleared up and safe,” Holman said.

Anti-violence activists are planning to have a cookout on the corner of Fennimore and Suffolk this Thursday at 6 p.m.

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