Spike in gun violence in the city of Buffalo has local community leaders concerned

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It’s the perfect storm, that’s costing lives, since last year shootings in the city of Buffalo have more than doubled. 

Preliminary data from the state department of justice is showing that gun violence in the city of buffalo has increased 102 percent.

Incidents where people were killed increased 33 percent from last year. Buffalo Police officials say the increase is due to several reasons including the decline of community outreach programs because of the pandemic. 

“The other thing that’s being talked about in the law enforcement community the bail reform and the fact that we have an act of reform where people are being let out of jail now, more often than they were before,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

Pastor James Giles with Back to Basics Outreach says folks cabin fever caused by the pandemic could play a role. 

“You got more individuals coming out finding them in spaces and places with their enemies or people they had beef with, you had that going on,” Giles said. “You had individuals coming out starting stuff, or continuing stuff. Mad at the person they believe got them locked up. They’re on the hunt for them, so all of that. There’s a perfect storm happening.”

Inside the office at the Stop The Violence Coalition there’s a wall of obituaries some from years past and some from this year. 

“Covid plays a part, but there’s a deeper part in this thing. I blame it on social media,” said Murray Holman, Stop the Violence Coalition. “Your Facebook, the technology part is playing a role in where do I find this guy that I have a beef with and shoot him and kill him. That plays a major part in communication and how our crime rate is escalating.”

The DA says most of the shootings are happening on Buffalo’s East and West side.

As far as how Buffalo stacks up to other cities in the state, there were 282 shootings in buffalo, 246 shootings in Rochester, 138 in Syracuse and 96 in Albany. 

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