Anonymous citizens have stepped forward and added $5,000 to the reward pool to help solve the January murder of Paul Byrd - in his car, in front of his Cornwall Avenue home in Buffalo's Grider-Delavan neighborhood.
That $5,000 means there is now $7,500 in the pool for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the perpetrators. Buffalo Police had contributed $1,500 and Crime Stoppers Buffalo had contributed $1,000.
The Crime Stoppers reward follows one yesterday for the murder of Leon Nelson on May Street July 31. Buffalo Police Lt. Jeff Rinaldo said the goal of all these rewards is to pry loose information that might be key to charges being filed in murders.
"Back on January 9 of this year, at approximately 4 o'clock in the afternoon, Mr. Byrd was sitting in the driver's seat of a vehicle at an address on Cornwall Avenue, when an unknown person or persons did open fire on that vehicle, striking him multiple times, eventually succumbing to his injuries later on that afternoon," Rinaldo said.
Rinaldo told a news conference that murder investigations are complex and sometimes slow, to make sure the evidence is there and to ensure the right person goes away for a very long prison term.
"In terms of the Police Department investigation, we do have some very strong leads in this case and we are developing those leads," he said. "Again, the increased reward is more to try to push this to a quicker conclusion."
Rinaldo said police understand how frustrating the process can be for families.
"Because, again, as I said before, these are complex investigations," he said. "The level of proof required to put somebody in prison for the rest of their life is extremely high, as it should be. I would ask that those people in cooperation with our Homicide Department, they need to understand that. They need to have some amount of patience."