Friends remember mother who was shot and killed in a Tonawanda home as ‘caring and thoughtful’


Town of Tonawanda police are still searching for the person or persons responsible for shooting and killing a woman and wounding two children. Police say the victim is 31 year-old Danielle Cretacci.

When Buffalo native Jeanette Taskarella found out her long time friend was kill, she was stunned.

“I just can’t believe it, I was just talking to her,” Taskarella said.

Early Tuesday morning, Town of Tonawanda police say Cretacci and her two kids were shot inside a home on Ebling Avenue.

The owner of the home released a statement Wednesday saying he was left for work around 1:15 a.m., and was contacted by police about three hours later. His entire statement is below.

John Guercio of Tonawanda, New York, is the homeowner of the residence on Ebling Avenue in Tonawanda, New York, that was the scene of a brutal murder and shooting yesterday. Guercio is an employee and co-owner of Guercio & Sons on Grant Street in Buffalo, New York. Guercio was friends with Danielle Cretacci, the woman who was murdered last night. Cretacci is a former employee of Guercio & Sons. Guercio allowed Ms. Cretacci and her two children to live in his house earlier this year when she had difficulty finding housing and reached out to Guercio for help. Guercio also helped care for Cretacci’s children while they were living at his residence.

Guercio works nights at Guercio & Sons and helps prepare morning shipments to local area restaurants during his shift. On the night of the burglary and shootings, Guercio reported into work as usual and left his home at approximately 1:15 a.m. At approximately 4:30 a.m., Guercio was contacted at work by Tonawanda detectives following the shootings. Guercio has cooperated with the investigation being conducted by the Tonawanda Police Department. He also provided detectives information to corroborate his location at the time of the shootings.

Guercio’s attorney, Robert C. Singer, Esq., of Singer Legal PLLC, stated, “John Guercio took Danielle Cretacci and her children into his home when Danielle fell on hard times and needed a place to live. Over the last few months, John helped Danielle get back on her feet and even cared for Danielle’s children. John left for work that night when Danielle and her children were asleep on his couch. He is absolutely devastated by the events that happened following his departure. He grieves for Danielle and her family and prays that Danielle’s children quickly recover from their injuries. He cannot begin to imagine how Danielle’s children are dealing with the death of their mother. This senseless act of violence has shaken John to his core. I ask that everyone respect John’s privacy over the next few days and give him time to come to grips with what happened.”

Attorney Singer added, “I know some news outlets have stated that this may have been an incident of domestic violence. I want to make sure that John is not included in that narrative. He was a friend of Danielle, and that is all. If this incident has its roots in domestic violence, then the perpetrator is not John Guercio. My belief is that John is no longer considered a suspect and that Tonawanda Police have moved forward with investigating other suspects/persons of interest. We pray that detectives quickly arrest Danielle’s murderer and the criminal who shot her children. This monster deserves to get punished to the maximum extent permitted under the law.”


The two children are expected to recover from their injuries, but they’re now left without a mom.

“She didn’t deserve what she got,” Taskarella said. “Nobody deserves that but especially her. She never deserved anything like that.”

Cretacci’s friends, including Taskarella, say they will always remember her caring personality.

“She was just a genuine person,” Taskerella said. “Somebody you could talk to when you needed them. She was just a beautiful person.”

Town of Tonawanda police say this was not a random shooting and that Cretacci was targetted.

Taskarella says she is keeping her faith that whoever is responsible will be found.

“I’m just hoping that they can catch these people before they hurt someone else,” she said.

The town of Tonawanda police say this was not a random shooting and that Cretacci was targeted. No suspected have been named at this time and police are still investigating.

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