BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - People living near Chippewa where a man was gunned down over the weekend say their complaints about violence in this area have gone unanswered for years.
But on Monday, they finally got the attention of Mayor Byron Brown's administration. Police say 27-year-old James Henley of Buffalo was murdered on Sunday in a parking lot of a club that had closed hours before at South Elmwood Avenue and Johnson Parkway.
Neighbors say by day, Johnson Park is is a quiet neighborhood, with two schools nearby and property owners pouring money into home improvements. But weekend nights are a different story.
Resident Doug Bauer told News 4 he was awakened by four shots early Sunday morning. Jams Henley, a former star athlete in Buffalo, was shot and killed in a parking lot across the street.
Bauer said, "I knew they were not near my house. They were up here."
Johnson Park residents refer to the lot at Johnson Parkway and South Elmwood Avenue as a spillover lot for patrons of the Chippewa Entertainment District. Police say Henley was shot multiple times, but have no suspects in custody right now.
Two streets lights right next to the parking lot where the shooting took place have been out for a very long time. But the utility responsible for replacing the lights has been unresponsive.
Bauer and many of his neighbors say the Johnson Park neighborhood is improving every day, but they need help from Buffalo Police - especially at night and on weekends.
"This is a very good middle class neighborhood. It's most owner-occupied, very nice people, and we've fixed up the park. We've done a lot of other things around here," Bauer said.
Anne Gareis of the Johnson Park Association told News 4 that police and the mayor are working with them to make the neighborhood safer, but resources are limited. Gareis says improved lighting, more police patrols, and surveillance cameras are what they are asking for.
Gareis said, "We have people that come down and they start their party in front of our houses. They are loud, they smash bottles, they smash car windows."
Gareis says the Johnson Park Association is working to set up a meeting with city officials about the police cameras and improving overall security there.
Police are also asking for your help solving the fatal shooting over the weekend. If you have information that could close this homicide case, you're asked to call or text the Buffalo Police confidential tip line at 847-2255.
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