City of Tonawanda drive-by shooting victim has died

May 28, 2020

Charges against a 28-year-old man will soon be upgraded to include a murder count. A law enforcement source confirms the 32-year-old victim shot on Morgan Street in the City of Tonawanda early Tuesday morning has died.

The victim's name has not been released at this time. On Wedneday, following the arraignment of Matthew Gerwitz, District Attorney John Flynn stated that the suspect and the victim were acquaintances but did not explain further.

Gerwitz is accused of shooting the victim on Morgan Street with an illegal handgun, then later returning to the neighborhood and, after briefly entering a residence, returning outside to open fire on police officers who were investigating the original crime scene. One of those officers, Detective David Ljiljanich, was treated for multiple gunshot wounds and has since been released from the hospital.

Pending an upgrade of charges, Gerwitz faces two counts of first-degree attempted murder of a police officer, a second-degree attempted murder count and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. He is held without bail.

If convicted of the original charges, he could face up to life in prison.