Buffalo Police had a busy holiday weekend. Monday night at Canalside, they had to break up several skirmishes as well as investigate unconfirmed reports of gunshots. Police were also called to no less than four shooting incidents within a 90-minute span late Sunday into early Monday morning.
The shootings began with one on the 200 block of Dartmouth Avenue near Bailey Avenue around 11:40 p.m. Sunday. A 16-year-0ld female was treated at Erie County Medical Center and released.
The second shooting occurred on Sattler Avenue just after 12:10 a.m. The victim there, a 25-year-old male, was treated and released from ECMC.
Buffalo Police say those shootings were both unintended and caused by careless gun use.
"The first two shootings on Dartmouth and Sattler, at this time, we believe to be accidental, where people discharged firearms, one of which resulted in a ricochet striking a young lady," said Buffalo Police Lieutenant Jeff Rinaldo. "In the other one, a round went astray and ended up and ended up striking another person."
The next two shooting incidents, though, are believed to be gang-related, according to police investigators. A 21-year-old male was shot at Warren Avenue and Kent Street around 12:30 a.m. The victim was taken to ECMC, treated and released.
Then, just after 1 a.m., two people were shot at Broadway and Strauss. One of the victims died. That individual remained unidentified by police as of Monday afternoon. The second victim, a 29-year-old male, was treated and released.
Earlier, about 1 p.m. Monday, two men arrived at ECMC with gunshot wounds in the leg. Police say it appears that incident occurred near Dodge Street and Roehrer Avenue.
At Canalside, where an estimated 20,000 people gathered to enjoy Independence Day fireworks, there were a handful of fights. Police say those fights were "small in scale" and broke out during a 45-minute delay to the start of the fireworks display.
Investigators asked if the incidents were, in their opinion, beyond what one might expect in a large crowd where a few might be intoxicated.
"For 20-plus-thousand people, no," said Buffalo Police B District Chief Joseph Gramaglia. "The fights were minor and they were dealt with before they could even have the possibility of getting to be anything bigger."
Also reported from Canalside were unconfirmed gunshots. Investigators say officers found no evidence that any shots were ever fired.
"We investigated. We were unable to locate any shell casings after the area was cleared out," Gramaglia said. "We have no reported injuries, and we had no incidents of any other injuries, anyone showing up at the hospital injured."