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>Slaying of woman, 18, is first homicide of '07

Buffalo homicide detectives late Monday were continuing an investigation into a shooting outside an East Side bar that claimed the life of an 18-year-old woman -- the first homicide of 2007.

Marquita Akin of Floss Avenue was driven by an acquaintance to Buffalo General Hospital, where she died of a gunshot wound, said Detective Sgt. Daniel Rinaldo.

Police responded to a "shots fired" call at 3:49 a.m. at Jefferson Avenue and Southampton Street. The caller also informed a 911 operator that about 20 people were brawling in the street.

The fight may have started inside Club Alexis, Rinaldo said, but interviews of witnesses were continuing to reveal more details.

No one else was wounded in the shooting, and a motive has not been determined.

As of Monday night, no arrests had been made.

It took about four hours for the city to record its first homicide of the new year. Last year, there were 73 homicides.


>Police probing holdup in Town of Tonawanda

An investigation into the armed robbery of a Town of Tonawanda restaurant Monday evening was under way, authorities said.

The robbery occurred at about 6:30 p.m. in Big John's Submarine and Pizza shop, in the 500 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard.


>Man arrested in threat to blow up bus terminal

A man threatening to blow up the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority bus terminal on Ellicott Street was arrested without incident as he stood in the terminal Monday morning with a lighter in one hand and a bottle of rubbing alcohol in the other.

NFTA police arrested Kelvin L. Powell, 19, whose address was not immediately available, at about 10 a.m. after passengers said he had been threatening to blow up the bus terminal.

NFTA Officers Andre Taibbi and Mark Martinelli said that they approached Powell and asked him what he was doing and that Powell replied, "I'm just going to do some bomb throwing."

They asked Powell to put down the bottle and the lighter, and he complied, the officers said, adding that there were about 40 to 50 people in the terminal at the time.

Later, while being booked, Powell claimed he wasn't making a bomb, according to police reports. "I was just going to hold the top of the alcohol bottle, light the bottom of it and when it caught fire I was going to throw it," officers quoted him as saying.

Powell is charged with a felony charge of placing a false bomb at a transportation facility, as well as menacing and disorderly conduct.


>Damage put at $110,000 in Clarence house fire

A fire at 4126 Circle Court, Clarence, late New Year's Eve caused $110,000 damage, fire officials said.

No one was in the house, owned by Steven Conway, when neighbors reported fire coming from the second floor at about 11:40 p.m. Sunday.

The Harris Hill, East Amherst and Main-Transit fire companies brought the fire under control within an hour.

Damage was estimated at $80,000 to the house and $30,000 to its contents. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


>Heroin overdose causes woman's death in hotel

A 37-year-old downstate woman died Sunday from a heroin overdose in a Lancaster hotel.

Lancaster police were called to a hotel on Transit Road at about 2:20 p.m. and transported the woman to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, where she was pronounced dead.

Police Capt. Tim Murphy declined to identify the woman, saying police had yet to contact her family. He said she most recently lived in Bronxville but is believed to be originally from the Peekskill area.

Detectives Leon Robak and Don Lynch arrested a man, identified as 39-year-old Anton Hartmann of Bronxville, who was in the hotel room with the woman.

Charged with possession of a controlled substance, heroin and possession of a hypodermic needle, Hartmann was released on his own recognizance.

Murphy declined to identify the hotel, saying to do so might compromise an ongoing investigation.


>Man, 82, charged in beer-bottle assault

An 82-year-old Buffalo man faces an assault charge after allegedly hitting another man in the head with a beer bottle early Monday.

Brian S. Smith was charged with second-degree assault, police said, after Michael Long was struck with a beer bottle, opening a cut that required a trip to Buffalo General Hospital. The incident happened at Chicago and Miami streets at about 2:15 a.m.


>Would-be robber flees KFC empty-handed

A masked man showing what appeared to be a semiautomatic handgun attempted to rob the Kentucky Fried Chicken at 470 E. Delavan Ave. at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday but fled without taking any money, police said.

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