BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo Police are searching for two men believed to be armed and dangerous following a full SWAT team response in Riverside Sunday.
Two teenage girls, possibly runaways, have been located in another part of the city. The girls are believed to have been in the house at 72 Riverside Avenue when a man with a gun reportedly barricaded himself inside the home.
SWAT team members shot a tear gas canister through a lower window and then entered the house, finding no one inside. Police issued pictures of Joseph Anderson, 30, of the same Riverside address, and Melvin Hill, 31, who has multiple addresses. They say they may be in possession of a silver handgun.
Anyone with information on their whereabouts should call 911 immediately.
Later Sunday, Buffalo detectives entered the house with a search warrant and found an undisclosed amount of crack cocaine.
Neighbors say the SWAT team has been on their block before, and there is a deepening concern about the quality of life and safety in the neighborhood.
Carol Wagner, who has lived in the community for more than 50 years, tells News 4 many of the old homeowners have moved out, giving way to a diverse population with no strong ties to the neighborhood.
“It’s transient people, it’s renters, it’s different cultures,” she said.
A 60 year Riverside resident, Dennis McDonell, is moving to a cabin in rural Sardinia.
“It got to a point where I had to get a pistol permit, just in case,” he said. “I just want it up there in case something happens.”
Residents on Riverside Avenue didn’t seem to mind the show of firepower Sunday night. Many welcomed the SWAT team, saying they felt protected.