Buffalo Police say they have "persons of interest" in two fatal weekend shootings

Jul 1, 2019

Buffalo Police had not, as of Monday afternoon, released the names of two young men shot to death in separate weekend homicides. But during a briefing, officials said they do have persons of interest in both cases.

Captain Jeffrey Rinaldo told news reporters gathered for the Monday morning briefing that the 16-year-old male who was shot and killed while attending a graduation party on Oakmont Avenue last Friday evening was not the intended target.

"We now know that there was some type of incident that occurred in close proximity to where the graduation party was being held," Rinaldo said. "Unfortunately, shots were fired at the 16-year-old was struck by gunfire and succumbed to those injuries."

Rinaldo added that investigators have received numerous tips from what he described as "incredible cooperation" in that case.

"I have to say, people have been coming out. They've been cooperating," he said. "Our tip line is receiving a ton of updates as well as people coming forward and calling our homicide unit."

The 25-year-old victim fatally shot on Greenwood Avenue near West Delavan on Saturday evening was an intended target, according to Rinaldo.

The police captain told reporters that investigators have persons of interest in both cases but he would not offer a timeline for when arrests would be made. He explained officers want to get these cases, like all cases, resolved correctly.

"In order to do that, it does take time," Rinaldo said. "I know sometimes people in the community feel that these things take too long, myself included. I'd love to be able to make a quick arrest in these cases and put and end to it. But I'd rather do it the right way and ensure that these cases stick, so that we're not putting these people back on the streets quickly, where the violence just keeps going."

Police offered some encouraging statistics regarding deadly violence within the City of Buffalo. Through June 30, there were 16 homicides in Buffalo, compared to 24 during the same time period one year before.