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Buffalo Police say recent shootings related to spike in gang violence

Tue, August 23, 2016 1:38 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Families are in mourning after three people were murdered in Buffalo in just three days. Buffalo Police told News 4 the violence has been mostly gang related. They’re asking witnesses to come forward with information.

On Saturday morning, Buffalo Police said 25-year-old Shakila Cottrell was shot and killed on Shumway St. during a street party. The next morning, around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, two brothers were shot on Schreck Ave., 39-year-old Earl Parker died.

On Monday evening, a 24-year-old man was shot and killed on Plymouth Ave. Buffalo Police have not released his name yet.

Police told us it’s too soon to know if the crimes are related.

There have been nine homicides in just the last month. Thirty people have been killed this year.

Buffalo Peacemakers Program Coordinator, Pastor James Giles said there has been a spike in gang activity over the last six weeks.

“We call it ‘flaming on’,” he said. “It’s when they begin to ride around and look for targets and then respond to that by shooting at people.”

Giles said there are also new criminals in Buffalo.

“We have new players coming in, we have people shooting that we’ve never heard of before,” said Giles. “When I know it’s that gang, when I know it’s that group, it’s easy for us to respond, to go over there and get this stuff squashed. But now we have new players coming into the arena, making a name for themselves.”

Giles also told News 4 the people being targeted has changed.

“It’s really staggering, the bullets are not caring whether you’re a male or female,” he said. “Now they are targeting females so it’s getting a little scary.”

Buffalo Police data shows 30 people have been killed this year. Twenty-seven of those crimes are still under investigation.

The number of homicides has increased since last year.

By Aug. 23, 2015 there were 18 homicides. A total of 42 people were killed by the end of the year and 23 of those cases are still under investigation.

Buffalo Police told us witnesses are slower to come forward in gang related crimes.

“For a lot of these crimes we have evidence and we have an idea who may or may not have committed them, however, a lot of these cases require corroborating evidence from witnesses and people who can come forward and help us to do identifications, as well as help us to make arrests,” said Lt. Jeff Rinaldo, with the Buffalo Police Department.

Lt. Rinaldo asks anyone with information to call Buffalo Police to help them solve these homicides. The tip line number is 847-2255.

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