One year later: community asks for help in Grape Street shooting

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo Police say they’re making progress on finding the suspected shooters in the death of a Buffalo woman and her toddler grandson. The two were shot and killed on this day last year in the Fruit Belt neighborhood.

“The memorials always leave, but the blood is still on the ground, you know, it’s in our minds. It never leaves us,” said Murray Holman, executive director of Stop the Violence Coalition.

For Murray Holman, the shooting that claimed the lives of 54-year-old Yvette Johnson and her 17-month-old grandson Kyrie is still on his mind a year later.

“This scene was chaotic, hurtful and harmful to our community,” said Holman.

Tuesday marks a year since the shooting outside of a home during a family gathering on Grape Street in Buffalo. Two men were also hit but survived. Holman was at the scene that night trying to help family.

“It hurt our community. We’re still looking for answers and want the community to come forward with any information,” said Holman.

Since then, Buffalo Police arrested one man, 25-year-old Kenyatta Austin. He’s been charged in the deaths of Johnson and Kyrie.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn believes there were others involved.

“We believe that there were multiple shooters and we know there were multiple shots fired and multiple weapons used,” said John Flynn, Erie County District Attorney.

The reward is now up to $29,000 for anyone with information that leads to another arrest. Holman says people still offer tips, but fear retaliation.

“We get people [who] call and say they want their money, but they just don’t know the direction, how the money is going to be received,” said Holman.

Buffalo Police say that shouldn’t stop people from coming forward and helping to solve this case.

“We’re not looking for you to come give us some information and then you’re on your own. That’s not how we handle this. People should understand that we are their partner. So if they cooperate, if they’re able to help us make a case we’re just as concerned about their safety as they are,” said Capt. Jeff Rinaldo with Buffalo Police.

“We need the community’s help so this family, not to have closure, but to understand that somebody that did this crime should be accountable,” said Holman.

Remember you can give information through the BPD confidential tip line at 847-2255. Buffalo Police have not said how many suspects they think are still at large.

Austin, the one man charged so far, is scheduled to go on trial in October.

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