Grieving father opens up about son’s death a day after arrest is made

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — If you take a walk or a drive down Sherman Street you will find blue and silver balloons tethered tightly to a tree outside Buffalo’s Sperry Park. It’s a memorial for 21 year-old Laron Watkins.

Watkins was shot and killed near the park on August 4, 2016.

“We put this (memorial) here not just to remind us of what happened, but to remind everyone this is one of the kids from a neighborhood that lost his life out here to the street’s violence,” said Larry Watkins, Laron’s father.

Watkins said Laron just left the house and was headed to the park for a party.

“Five to seven minutes later we heard the shots rang out, his mother ran upstairs, I told her his brother was upstairs, I said alright I’m going around to see. I come around the corner and I see him laying on the curb right there,” said Watkins.

Watkins says everyone left the scene and no one called for help. Paramedics tried to save Laron’s life, but he died at the scene.

“He was a good kid, quiet kid, kept to himself, he liked playing football. He could get a long with anybody, you know what I mean, to know him was to like him,” said Watkins.

It’s now seven months later and Buffalo Police arrested 18 year-old Jaylin Wiggins. He’s charged with murder and attempted murder. Police say he shot two others that night.

“He was a violent member of our community and unfortunately committed another shooting and is being looked at for a few other things,” said Lt. Jeff Rinaldo, Buffalo Police Department.

Watkins says this is a start for the family getting justice, but he believes others were involved.

The “Stop the Violence Coalition” says this arrest is progress.

“The system is working, the cry out from the community is working. Ive been putting a plea out to the Buffalo Police Department to do their job and it shows they’re doing their job,” said Murray Holman, executive director for Stop the Violence Coalition. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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