Two men and a woman were found shot to death, execution style, Sunday evening in an apparent drug-related triple homicide in an upstairs apartment at 1891 Bailey Ave.
The bodies, which had been there for at least a day, were discovered by the downstairs tenant, who was just moving in and had called police about water that had been running upstairs for many hours, police said.
Two of the victims were identified today as Fearon E. Williams, 28, who lived in the Bailey Avenue apartment, and Donnette McClary, 32, of Winslow Avenue. Police described Williams and McClary as acquaintances.
Homicide detectives today were checking with immigration officials in an attempt to identify the other man. Someone who knew the victims told police the other man was a Jamaican who might have intended to return home soon.
The three had been shot methodically with a 9 mm handgun, according to one source. Two of the bodies were found on the living room floor and one on the couch.
"The circumstances certainly suggest that it's drug-related," Homicide Chief Joseph Riga said today.
Materials and other evidence of cocaine packaging were found in the apartment, Riga said.
Detectives checking on the last known activities of the victims say they believe the three might have been gunned down Saturday morning, or even Friday night.
Investigators admitted today that they had few strong leads in their search for the killers, as they began checking the victims' backgrounds.
Police said Williams' extensive criminal history dated back to 1987 and included some drug-related incidents and a felony murder charge from 1990 that led to a guilty plea or conviction on a robbery charge, police said.
After the bodies were found, a neighbor gave police the license numbers of two "fairly new" cars that reportedly had been coming and going at the building in recent days.
The neighbor went downtown with officers for questioning, as did a man and woman living nearby, but police had no suspects.
Inspector Daniel E. Redmond talked to reporters clustered across the street from the two-story rental house, which is just north of Walden Avenue.
"C District was called by a man moving into the lower flat about water running upstairs," Redmond said, as officers continued to arrive at the scene. "The man went upstairs. He found three bodies up there."
Someone flagged down a passing fire truck on Bailey at about 7:30 p.m. to report the deaths.
"We're not quite sure how long they've been there, until we have the medical examiner examine them," Redmond said.
The inspector said a preliminary investigation hadn't turned up any signs of a break-in or a struggle. This indicated that someone who knew the victims may have been granted entry.
Redmond acknowledged that this brings to 10 the number of homicides in Buffalo so far this year.
"Something like this is very unusual for Buffalo," he said. "This is not normal -- three people killed like this. This is tragic. . . . This is something way out of the ordinary."
As homicide detectives arrived, the inspector said the neighborhood would be canvassed by officers for witnesses. And he urged anyone with any information to call the homicide squad, 851-4466.