New video, sound shows chaos of City Grill murders

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Buffalo’s first mass shooting lasted a quarter of a minute — 10 shots fired over the course of 17 seconds.

Four lives ended that night — but the lives of so many more were changed forever.

Ten years later, News 4 looks back with a new perspective — and never-before-seen video and never-before-heard audio — from the moments the bullets started flying. And when Ricardo McCray walked out of WIVB in handcuffs.

Ten years after City Grill: WATCH

“It was absolutely a chaotic scene,” said Buffalo Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards. “This resulted in perhaps the biggest manhunt in the city’s history.”

August 14, 2010. A party at City Grill spills onto Main Street, and a massive fight erupts into Buffalo’s first mass shooting in modern history.  

Eight people were hit by gunfire — four of them died that night. A fifth died seven years later.
Among them, three men, two women, celebrating a first wedding anniversary, along with more than one hundred others there for a weekly gathering.

“The results could have been much much worse,” Richards said. “There was a very crowded bar with a lot of people at the time. Certainly the carnage could have been worse.”

The shooting set off one of the Queen City’s biggest manhunts — 10 days filled with tension, fear, and heartache. And in the end, one man, Ricardo McCray, was responsible.

McCray was actually in the room before the party was kicked out of City Grill, after a fight grew from a mundane disagreement about spilled champagne.

He left and soon returned, armed with a gun that’s still never been found.

Two of the victims were shot execution-style, at close range — the others were victims of McCray’s deadly spray.

Buffalo police spent the next 12 days tracking the shooter — most that time unaware of who he was. They chased down witnesses, followed every lead — even those that led to dead ends.

“Around the clock,” Richards said. “We were following every lead from any number of sources, any number of ways.”

Eventually, police named McCray as their prime suspect.
But despite their efforts, it would be McCray’s own actions — and those of two community activists — that closed the case.

On the afternoon of Aug. 26, McCray, flanked by Darnell Jackson and Bishop Perry Davis showed up to surrender at Ch. 4.

It was Hall of Fame broadcaster Rich Newberg who received the call.

“I told Darnell that, if he did bring Ricardo McCray to Ch. 4 and to me, that we would guarantee him safe passage into the hands of the authorities,” Newberg said. “And that’s basically what happened.

“The first thing he did was assure me that he wasn’t carrying any weapons,” he added. “And he also wanted to make sure that I saw that he had no scars on his body.”

The man who less than two weeks prior had gunned down eight people feared brutality by Buffalo’s finest. Soon after stepping foot on WIVB property, the police were notified — and they were on their way. Time was short.

“Will I have a chance to ask him questions? Will we have any time together? Did he do it? Was he the killer?” Newberg said. “And that the same time I needed to presume that he was innocent until proven guilty.

“We had three cameras focused on him, and I began asking him questions,” he said. “And he began answering. And I wanted to keep that questioning going.”

“Was he ready to confess? No. He said he didn’t do it. My job was to get information. And to deliver him to the authorities in a peaceful way. And that’s what happened.”

Just minutes into the interview, Newberg received a call from then Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita to shut the cameras off and step outside the conference room.

With the cameras still rolling, Newberg opened the door — and detectives filed in.
The interview was over.

But the moment will never be forgotten.

“Great sense of relief, since there was this feeling of almost two weeks of pins and needles and people concerned, people worried, people worried for their safety, wondering the great unknown, where could this guy be, where could he strike next,” Richards said. “Knowing that he was about to be in custody, it was a great relief for all involved and the entire city.”

Added Newberg: “To have played a role in preventing bloodshed in a city that was just rife with fear and anger was no small thing for Ch. 4. I had tremendous photographers at my side, and a tremendous newsroom supporting this effort. And it was done properly.”

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