Developing
2:37 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

13-year-old charged with murdering Buffalo boy

Ameer Al Shammari body was found over the weekend in Buffalo.
Ameer Al Shammari body was found over the weekend in Buffalo.
Credit Flyer issued during a search for missing Ameer Al Shammari.

Buffalo homicide detectives have arrested a 13-year-old boy in connection with the death of Ameer Al Shammari.

Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda says Jean Sanchez admitted Monday night to Al Shammari's murder. The boy's body was discovered Saturday in a run-down lot along Amherst Street.

"The suspect, last night, did make admissions to homicide detectives," Derenda said Tuesday afternoon.

Derenda says numerous tips from the public led to the quick arrest. He says investigators believe the murder was over a cell phone.

"Nothing surprises me anymore. I've been at this job for over 28 years, so I'm not shocked," Derenda said. "It's very disturbing."

Sanchez was charged as an adult with murder in the second degree. He pleaded not guilty through an interpreter and is being held without bail. Sanchez is due back in court Friday afternoon.   

The teen went missing Friday afternoon. His body was discovered Saturday morning in the city's Black Rock neighborhood.  

Al Shammari, a a seventh grade student at Waterfront Elementary School, was an Iraqi refugee whose family came to the U.S. about 18 months ago. Members of the Iraqi community had been searching for him since he went missing Friday night.

Al Shammari's funeral was held Tuesday morning at at the Masjid al-Eiman and Islamic Center on Connecticut Street on Buffalo's West Side.

The YWCA of WNY said Monday it is accepting donations on behalf of the boy's family and the Iraqi American Society. Contributions can be made through the organization's website or via postal mail.