Peacemakers note criminals have new strategy amid summer violence

Local News

In July alone, a handful of bold shootings have shaken the streets of Buffalo. Peacemakers are reflecting on what’s happening in the Queen City.

On July 2nd, Kyrie Johnson, a 17-month-old baby was shot and killed along with his grandmother Yvette Johnson. Then, on July 9th, Angel Marcial, 25, was gunned down while driving on I-190 during the evening rush hour. Investigators say the bullets were fired from another vehicle.

No arrests have been made in either crime.

While many shootings may be targeted acts, Buffalo Peacemakers note more and more of them are happening out in public, and some in broad daylight, like another homicide that happened on Lisbon St. Thursday. They say that’s a new element of gun violence. 

“They do it in broad daylight,” said Pastor James Giles, the CEO of Back to Basics Outreach and Ministries, the umbrella group for Buffalo Peacemakers. “They do it whenever they have opportunity to get at their target without thinking of a strategy or anything like that.”

Giles has spent a lot of time talking to people on Buffalo’s streets.

“They have told me, ‘Listen man. I got a beef with my opponent, I ride by him in the park with his kids, I give him a pass.’ They’ve said that. But that was a few years ago. I’m talking three or four years ago,” said Giles.

In that time, Giles says things have changed. 

Captain David Denz works with the New York State Police, which is investigating the I-190 shooting. He disputed that things are any different now than how they used to be.

“I think things like this have been going on for a long time, way too long,” Capt. Denz said. “It’s certainly unusual for us to have something like this happen in the middle of the day, in the middle of a busy highway.”

“You’re having these very sad funerals, funeral after funeral,” Giles noted. “We’re hurting people. They’re carrying that hurt around. That affects the quality of life.”

In order to improve quality of life, Giles said it’s important to highlight the fact that there are still positive things happening in and around Buffalo. 

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