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TWO CARS HIT AND KILL WOMAN
BODY OF ANOTHER WOMAN FOUND IN CITY APARTMENT

One woman was struck by two cars and killed Tuesday night near Kleinhans Music Hall.

Minutes later, Buffalo police were dispatched to a Normal Avenue apartment to investigate the beating death of another woman. An arrest was made early this morning.

The two unrelated deaths were reported within five minutes of each other and only blocks apart. The calls shifted Buffalo police investigators into high gear.

This morning, detectives at the Major Crimes Unit said the homicide victim -- whose name was not being released until her family was notified -- was beaten and stabbed to death by her boyfriend.

At about 3 a.m. this morning, John Ryan, 45, of Normal Avenue, was arrested by Detective Sgt. James P. Lonergan and Detective Patrick Judge. He was charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

Police and emergency crews responded at 6:04 p.m. to One Symphony Circle, where a woman was struck by two cars. Shortly after they arrived, the woman was declared dead at the scene.

The elderly woman apparently was crossing the street when she was struck by a construction company pickup truck between Jersey and 14th streets, police said. Witnesses said the force of the collision separated the woman from her shoes and sent her body airborne.

Her body came to rest about 15 feet away in the middle of the street, when another motorist drove over her and then fled the scene, police said. Neighbors covered the woman's body with towels and sheets until police arrived and cordonned off the area.

The body remained on the street in the rain for about 90 minutes. The delay occurred because police were waiting for a trained accident investigator to arrive, according to police Lt. James Shea.

At 6:09 p.m., detectives were called to 299 Normal Ave. after police found the body of a woman in her 30s in an upper apartment. Police said Ryan lived in the apartment and the woman lived there with him for only a brief time, police said.

"It's definitely a homicide," said Detective Sgt. James P. Lonergan. "She was beaten."

Police said they had been called to 299 Normal at about 12:20 a.m. Tuesday -- just hours before the murder -- to respond to a domestic fight.

News Staff Reporter Vanessa Thomas contributed to this article.

e-mail: tpignataro@buffnews.com

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