In wake of two homicides, Erie Co. DA urges domestic violence victims to come forward

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – It has been one week since two women were killed in two apparent domestic violence incidents.

Sunday morning, August 4, Melissa Kazmierczak, 52, was shot and killed on Stanton Street in Buffalo.

That same morning, police in Cheektowaga found the body of Tetiana Bruks, 34, in a home on Raymond Avenue.

In both cases, the women’s husbands have been accused of their murders.

Allen Kazmierczak, 46, is in police custody, charged with second-degree murder. The search continues for Yuriy Bruks, 34, who disappeared after police questioned him about his wife’s death.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says there’s a disturbing trend here.

“There is way too much domestic violence in our society,” Flynn told News 4.

Just look, Flynn said, at the daily arrest reports from the Buffalo Police Department.

“They actually color code it. They color code it purple for domestic violence cases. As I just scroll through here, every day there is a ton of purple on my screen,” Flynn said.

“And so domestic violence is a problem in our society. It continues to be a problem in our society,” Flynn said. “And unfortunately, over the last week or two, it’s manifested itself as what appears to be two homicides.”

In the Stanton Street case, Flynn says Melissa Kazmierczak’s Facebook page should have been a red flag for friends and family members. She made it so her husband couldn’t see it.

In the Cheektowaga case, friends say the couple appeared to be happy.

“Sadly, friends and family don’t always know what’s happening inside the family,” said Andrii Prybilskyi, a North Carolina resident who lived with the couple for more than a year in Buffalo, in 2012. “So please speak up. Ask for help. Let people know you need help, so your life could be saved.”

The District Attorney agrees.

He urges victims of domestic violence to take steps to protect themselves at the first sign of trouble, before the situation escalates into this kind of tragedy.

Victims can call police, the District Attorney’s office, or any of the local agencies like Haven House, for help getting away from their abuser.

  • MORE | To reach the 24 hour Domestic Violence Hotline in Erie County, call (716) 862-HELP(4357) or call 716-884-6000 for shelter.

“We will do what we can to get an order of protection for you right away,” Flynn said. “If there’s enough evidence there, we’ll charge the individual. We’ll protect you the best we can, and obviously, most importantly, we take these cases seriously.”

Yuriy Bruks is still wanted by officers on a charge of second-degree murder. He is described as 5’11” and 180 lbs. He has green eyes and brown hair. Bruks is considered dangerous. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call police at (716) 686-3505.

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