Badr Elwaseem, a 12-year-old student at School 45, was sitting in his living room on William Street around 8:30 p.m. Saturday watching television when a bullet came through his front window and killed him. The incident is prompting outrage among local leaders who are calling for greater efforts in combating gun violence.
"Obviously, this is an incredibly difficult and painful time for this family," said Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood, who was joined by Mayor Byron Brown and other officials Sunday. "We are asking for the community to hold this family up in prayer."
The bullet apparently came from a series of shots fired in the immediate neighborhood of the gang-ridden Towne Gardens housing development.
A 22-year-old man was also shot near the apparent site of the overall shooting. He is listed in stable condition in a hospital.
Brown said Crime Stoppers and the FBI are offering a combined reward of $12,500 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of whoever fired the shots.
Buffalo Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash and School Board President Barbara Seals Nevergold issued a joint statement, saying the community has to turn out and stop the violence.
"While we are focused on their graduation and bright futures, it is always horrific and unimaginable when a child is taken from us in this way. Board President Nevergold and I call on our faith-based institutions, our citizen groups, our parents, our Mayor and elected officials, and our schools - all of US - to work together to increase the peace and take clear measures to end the violence NOW!"
They said the school district will have crisis services in a number of schools Monday.