BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Meet Alicia Sink. She buried her oldest son, Trenten, just a few days ago. He was 20.
“It’s been like a nightmare that you just can’t wake up from,” Sink said.
“One thing that replays in my head every day is Trenten telling me ‘Mom, I’m going to be right back.’ And then,. there’s this one time, where he just never comes back. And, not knowing why this happened.”
He was shot multiple times and killed in late March. Police are still searching for his killer. Trenten’s death is one of dozens that happened in the city of Buffalo in a three month span.
GoFundMe for Trent: Click Here
“It’s outrageous. The gun violence needs to stop,” Sink said.
So far, there’s been 72 people who have either died or were injured from gun violence between January and March of this year. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says it’s a 200 percent increase from 2019.
“These aren’t just numbers. Every one of those digits reflects a human being. It reflects someone’s son, someone’s daughter, someone’s sister,” Flynn said.
Officials say, there’s a number of reasons for the increase, including bail reform and a decline in community outreach services because of the coronavirus.
“Covid definitely hurts our ability for community engagement. It was something our community partners were not able to do, it was something that definitely had an impact on our ability to intervene before things lead to violence,” said Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo. “We would rather have 100 ounces of prevention, than one ounce of cure.”
Illegal guns are an issue as well.
“We have a huge influx of guns on our city streets, everybody has one, everybody is carrying one,” said Rinaldo.
Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.