BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – Community organizations are sounding the alarm as the city continues its track for its deadliest year. Already in 2021 homicides in the city of Buffalo are close to reaching 50.
“The violence, the shootings, the homicides, it saddens me,” said Leonard Lane, who’s the president of the Buffalo FATHERS organization. “It breaks my heart to know all of this is going on after coming out of a pandemic.”
Lane has spent more than 20 years combating violence in the city of Buffalo.
“A lot of the community has lost fathers and now they are losing their children and not only that but we’re losing three or four people a day,” he said.
On Sunday, two more people were shot and killed in Buffalo. Police say a man was killed around 2:40 a.m. at Playter and Kent street. The second shooting happened just 20 minutes later. Police say a 27year-old man was shot and killed on North Ogden street.
“The city of Buffalo is going through some things, everyone is hurting and I think the only way we’re gonna get through it is coming together,” Lane said.
Lane’s mission this year is to slow the rate at which shootings and killings are happening. He’s not the only one working toward that goal. Tina Sanders, who’s the founder of No More Tears, is also calling on the community to do more.
“We have to get to the root of it and you know we say law enforcement, mayor, council, we always want to point the finger somewhere, but we’ve got to point it back to ourselves and inside of our homes,” Sanders said. “We are aware of what are young people are doing, and we turn the other cheek when we really need to start addressing our own children.”
Sanders says there needs to be more community engagement.
“The community is very devastated and you do have some people who love and care for the community and want to see change and want to make things better,” she said.
Members of Buffalo Row Kings and Queens Motorcycle organization wants to step in and do their part to help.
“We’re losing our brothers, our sisters, our mothers, fathers. Even our children. It’s very important for us all to come together and stop going against each other and become strong as a community,” said James Moore, who’s the VP of Buffalo Row Kings and Queens.
The group is teaming up with the Buffalo Peacemakers and F.A.T.H.E.R.S. to host a cook out with the community. It’ll take place on July 10th near the Langfield homes on the eastside of Buffalo. Organizers say this will help bring people together in a positive way.
“It’s something more than just shooting guns and all that. There’s good people around still and they’re getting overshadowed by the bad,” Prentice Thornton, who founded Buffalo Row Kings and Queens, said.
Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.