BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The streets in the Kenfield-Langfield housing complex were quiet on Saturday. Children weren’t out playing and families weren’t spending time outdoors.
Many are scared to be outside after four teens were shot at the Oakmont Avenue footbridge in Buffalo. “A lot of people chose to stay in with their kids because a lot of kids are afraid,” said Betty McClain of Buffalo.
Ray Patterson III was only 14-years-old when he was shot and killed on Tuesday. Three others were injured. Joseph Gant is charged for the attack.
“A lot of people are scared that they may get shot, a drive by and things like that,” explained McClain. “Because it’s happening everywhere there’s nowhere to be safe.”
McClain said she’s noticed more police patrols since the shooting.
Buffalo Police and city officials also held a gun buyback on Saturday as a way curb gun violence. Guns are accepted by authorities no questions asked and exchanged for pre-paid debit cards. The funds come from seized drug assets, not taxpayer money.
“If they’re working, if they’re lethal, if they’re unwanted, we need to get them out of the homes,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (D). “What we have found is that law abiding citizens have had their homes burglarized, guns that were legal end up on the street being used in crimes.”
Buffalo Police told News 4 that this year 840 guns were turned in, making this year the 2nd highest total for the event, surpassing last year’s 760 guns. People have anonymously exchanged handguns, shotguns even assault rifles.
Critics of gun buyback programs claim law abiding citizens are the ones bringing in the guns and that won’t stop the gun violence.
“I say to those critics again if we can get one of these guns off the streets that could be used to commit a crime or injure a member of our community it’s a good thing,” said Brown.
Many in the Kenfield-Langfield housing complex agree that the buyback program is a good idea. They said they just want peace in their neighborhood.
“I think it’s a good thing that people bring the guns and get rewarded for bringing them in,” said McClain.
The city has collected more than 5,800 guns over the past few years by holding gun buyback programs. After the guns are turned in police look at the make and model of every gun then destroy them.