Buffalo police believe recent string of shootings is gang-related

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Buffalo police are investigating four separate shootings in the Queen City.

The incidents occurred within 72 hours; seven people were shot, two of them killed.

The latest shooting happened at Best and Michigan Avenue around 11:30 Monday night.

“We have this conversation a lot, I must admit, it is very frustrating,” said Buffalo Common Council President, Darius Pridgen.

Several council members want to see a strategy in Mayor Brown’s new budget to put a dent in unsolved homicide cases. For example, Pridgen said, funding for more investigators if needed.

MORE | Seven people shot in 72 hours in Buffalo

Buffalo police told News 4 solvability is a huge issue when handling-gang related cases, because often people don’t cooperate.

In 2017, only one homicide case has been closed; more than a dozen remain unsolved. Most open cases are gang or drug-related, according to BPD.

“I think that we are at a very critical juncture right now. Especially because we are in the winter months and we’re still seeing so many illegal guns being used on the street,” Pridgen told News 4.

The Common Council President wants to see a crackdown on illegal guns in Buffalo.

Police are confident the guns used in these recent shootings did not have permits.

Edward Anderson lives near Genesee and Eller, where three young men were shot Monday afternoon in an apparent drive-by shooting.

Anderson told News 4 there is a visible gang presence in that area.

“They congregate at various little spots. You can see them and you notice them but you don’t see their activity,” he said.

Pridgen said the fear of retaliation is real; knowing investigations are making progress could encourage more people to speak up, he said.

“I don’t think they need to put out there what their information is, but at least keep letting people know that you’re working on certain cases and where you need more information,” he said of a possible daily briefing from law enforcement.

Buffalo Police have not said whether or not these shooting are connected.

No arrests have been made yet, but investigators told News 4 they are making progress in the apparent drive-by shooting on Genesee, which occurred in broad daylight.

Buffalo Police continue to investigate. Anyone with information is urged to call or text the BPD Confidential TIPCALL line at (716) 847-2255.

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