BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – In the course of a week, seven teenagers in Buffalo were shot, and two died of their wounds. The gunmen involved in two of these violent incidents are still at-large.
At the funeral of 17-year-old Ronnie Scott, who was gunned down on Shirley Avenue last Tuesday, relatives said he was not a “gang banger,” but happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. He has a 1-year-old son.
“He still lived in that environment and had to associate himself with different people,” said his great uncle, Harold Luther White. “But that didn’t mean he did what they did.”
Buffalo Police are said to be investigating possible gang and drug involvement in the shootings, which also wounded another 17-year-old.
Outside True Bethel Baptist Church many were openly sobbing. The mother of one of Scott’s childhood friends said, “I feel like this funeral here is the start of where black people in Buffalo, our black youth, are going to put down the guns.”
The latest shooting happened on Monday at Fillmore and Riley. A 15-year-old boy was shot in the face. He is in critical but stable condition. Shocked neighbors saw the boy lying face down in a pool of blood.
Riley Street resident Marvin Dennard arrived at the scene almost immediately.
“A 15-year-old boy whose life was just beginning. Somebody’s trying to put an end to his life,” he said.
Sources tell News 4 that Buffalo Police are looking into whether the shooting was drug-related.
At a rally at the Kenfield-Langfield housing projects in the city’s University District, troubled inner city residents met with law enforcement officials, including U.S. Attorney William Hochul.
“The community really needs to help us help identify the most violent perpetrators,” said Hochul, whose office has been cracking down on gang activity on Buffalo’s east and west sides.
During the rally, anti-violence activist Lenny Lane led residents in a chant aimed at young people in the community. The adults said in unison: “Cease fire! Don’t shoot! I want to grow up!”
The most passionate plea came from Buffalo Common Council member Rasheed Wyatt, who represents the University District.
“It’s time we as a community stand up and take our community back,” he said. “Start snitching. Start ‘straight-telling,’ because we can’t let these young punks take our community hostage. We have to stand up to them.”