BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Police have now charged their prime suspect with the City Grill murders. This comes just hours after the suspect turned himself in to News 4's Rich Newberg here at Channel 4, then surrendered to Buffalo Police detectives.
Riccardo McCray, whose face we have been asked by authorities not to show, was brought here to Channel 4 by community activist Darnell Jackson and Bishop Perry Davis from the Stop the Violence Foundation.
The purpose was for McCray, who has now been charged with four counts of second degree murder, to turn himself peacefully over to the Buffalo Police. McCray told News 4 he did not do the shooting.
McCray shook his head no when asked if he did the shooting, then said, "If I know who did it I would come forward and tell you who did it, 'cause that's a hurtful thing."
News 4 interviewed McCray about the massacre outside the City Grill. There was a fight, he said, and the whole club got kicked out.
"When the shots occurred? Once I heard shots I got low to the ground, and after I heard the shots. After I heard the shots I got up. As soon as I heard shots I got down on the ground. I'm not trying to look up to see anything. There were shots fired," said McCray.
McCray added, "Four people have been buried. That's hurtful. That's a hurtful thing. And it would be a hurtful feeling too if they trying to accuse me, or anything. It's hurtful both ways."
McCray, the father of 1-year-old boy, told News 4 he learned he was a person of interest in the shootings just three days ago and that he was in Buffalo at the time. He said he didn't understand why police were after him.
McCray said he was concerned about the police, questioning, "Why are they going like this towards me? Everybody is human, ya know what I mean, 'cause there's a side to everything. Why are the police going the way goin' towards me? That's all I want to know."
"If I knew what caused the shooter I'd tell you. That's why I come down here because they said they looking for me and that's what I'm coming down here to explain. I don't know that night what happened. Like I told you, if I knew I would tell you," added McCray.
Darnell Jackson spoke about his role in McCray's surrender, saying, "I was contacted by his family last night and they was concerned about his well being. He didn't trust nobody but me and I agreed to have himself turned into me and I was negotiating with you all through the picture about what was going on. Me and you have been talking."
Bishop Perry Davis added, "That's why we come to Channel 4 News, to make sure nothing happens to him."
Police arrived at Channel 4 to take McCray in for questioning. McCray's attorney had not yet arrived.
Jackson implored, "Wait until his lawyer comes. Lawyer will be here in two minutes."
A police officer retorted, "He'll meet us downtown. Get out of my way or I'll arrest ya. Out of my way!"
Riccardo McCray was then handcuffed and taken to Buffalo Police Headquarters.
Rich Newberg, who spoke exclusively to McCray, answers some questions about the interview below:
Question: What led up to Darnell Jackson bringing Riccardo McCray to you and Channel 4?
Rich: Darnell was concerned that McCray be taken in for questioning with any violence occurring. He wanted a safe environment for McCray to turn himself over to the police and let justice take its course.
Question: McCray lifted up his shirt. What was the purpose for that?
Rich: I think it was to show he was unarmed. McCray also wanted us to see his body had no visible tattoos of any gangs and was free of noticeable scars. He is very concerned about his safety while in custody.
Question: What was his demeanor? You were sitting across from him.
Rich: He has a very young face for a 23-year-old. He is 5'6". His answers were short and you could see he was getting teary when we talked about the shootings. One of his closest friends was Willie McCaa who was murdered. McCray said he attended the party at the Grill because McCaa was there.
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