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BARBERSHOP SHOOTING LEAVES UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

A grandfather says he is relieved his three young grandchildren escaped injury Tuesday night when they witnessed a gunfight in a Glenwood Avenue barbershop.

"I kept my 7-year-old granddaughter home from school today. It was the right thing to do. I want her and her two brothers to get counseling," the grandfather said Wednesday outside the Community Barber Shop, which had a "closed" sign in the window.

Though the girl and her two brothers, 2 and 4 years old, were not harmed physically, the grandfather said he wants to make sure they were not emotionally damaged by their close-up encounter with violence.

"They're doing good at this moment, but I'm no doctor," said the grandfather, who refused to give his name for fear of retribution from the shooters. "If something like this happened in Amherst, the children would be getting counseling, and that's what I want to see happen."

Homicide investigators now believe one of the two teen-age attackers is related to Jackie Crouch, the 18-year-old barber who, of the three victims, suffered the most serious wounds in the shooting at about 7:30 p.m.

Police, however, were puzzled about how one of the shop's customers, who was seated in a barber's chair, happened to have a rifle in his possession before any shots were fired.

Cornelius Redden, 23, of Goemble Avenue, initially exchanged words with one of the gunment before he was shot at, according to police.

"When one of them started shooting a handgun at him, Redden began shooting back with a rifle," said Capt. Joseph Riga, chief of the Homicide Bureau.

After at least two bullets struck Redden, he handed the rifle to another patron, who chased the teens from the shop, according to Riga.

"There was an exchange of gunfire outside on the street," Riga said, adding that at least a dozen shots were fired in the gun battle.

Redden and another patron -- Anthony Rogers, 24, of Masten Avenue -- were taken to Erie County Medical Center, where they were treated for bullet wounds and later released.

Crouch, of Dupont Avenue, was admitted to the medical center's intensive care unit, where he remains in serious condition.

Police said he is expected to survive.

Throughout Wednesday, grim reminders of shooting were evident as curiosity seekers drove slowly past the barbershop at 319 Glenwood, near Jefferson Avenue.

Bullet holes could be seen in the shop's steel-reinforced door.

Talk among neighbors ranged from fear that the attackers remained at large to concern over the wounded and the children witnessing the attack.

Darlene Henderson, who was in her nearby home when the shooting broke out, said she and her children got down on the floor.

"I told them, 'Hit the floor and get away from the windows,' " Miss Henderson said. "I heard the gunfire, and I knew it wasn't firecrackers."

The mother of two adolescents said that she has lived there in her home for eight years and added, "this is a quiet street with nothing like this ever happening before."

Jeremi Johnson, a customer in the barber shop, described Crouch as funny and outgoing.

"He's cool, and he's a real funny person," he said. "He gives a good haircut."

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