LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) – An 18-year-old man pleaded not guilty to shooting another man three times in the back. Josiah H. Chandler, 18, is charged with shooting Colton Baker-Durst, 20, overnight in Lockport. Chandler is facing a hate crime charge, because police said there were racial comments made to the victim.
They said they recovered the gun at Chandler’s home and also took clothing as evidence.
Police said Chandler was taken in for questioning and admitted to the shooting.
Lockport Police Detective Captain Brian Wentland said they were called to the scene around 12:30 a.m. Officers found the victim near the intersection of Green and Church Streets. Paramedics flew him to Erie County Medical Center, where he is listed in critical condition.
Chandler was arrested within a few hours. He is charged with second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, first-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
LaJ-on Chandler, the suspect’s oldest sister, said they come from a racially mixed family. She said her brother was a star athlete at Lockport High School and planned to go to Erie Community College.
Lockport Mayor Anne McCaffrey said, “We are certainly cognizant of the racial tension in the nation right now with the Ferguson issue. It’s something we’re aware of, but we urge the community not to jump to any conclusions at this time, as the details are coming out about the crime.”
McCaffery said her city is constantly working to improve racial relations.“We’re a small community,” she said. “We all know each other and we all try to work together to meet the challenges that we face.”
Mayor McCaffrey said people are feeling upset for the victim. “Our hearts go out to that family for the tragedy that they’re dealing with, she said. She believes the community will “stay strong in light of what’s happened.”