Share this article

print logo

Suspect in murder surrenders to city police

Telling police he "couldn't run forever," a Welch Avenue man turned himself in to city police Friday morning on murder and weapons charges.

Shawn L. Gibson, 32, is accused of shooting Noah L. Willoughby, 22, of 23rd Street, at close range in an alley off Falls Street last Saturday.

The shooting was the city's first homicide of the year.

Gibson was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree criminal use of a firearm, city police said. They said the shooting happened following an argument that began at Norm's Bar on Niagara Street.

"A lot of alcohol was involved, pride was involved and a woman was involved," said Capt. Ernest C. Palmer, chief of detectives. "When you mix all these, it become a deadly combination."

According to witness reports, Gibson pulled out a handgun, pointed it at Willoughby's chest from about three feet away, and fired.

Bartenders and security staff at Norm's Bar told police that a fight between Gibson and Willoughby spread to the entire bar.

A witness told police that as more patrons started fighting, the owner cleared the bar and closed it down.

"We've had a lot of complaints of illegal actions [at Norm's Bar]," Palmer said. "It had become a focal point of police attention repeatedly. But to the owner's credit, we know he attempted to clean it up, but may be a victim of his patrons."

After the bar closed, the hard feelings continued and Willoughby was demanding an apology, several witnesses told police.

Another witness told police that Willoughby brought a long gun to the scene "just in case." Then, after insisting on an apology, he went to his truck, got the gun and cocked it and shot into the air.

Witnesses told police that the two men still continued to exchange words and Gibson pulled out a concealed handgun and shot Willoughby at close range.

Palmer said Willoughby did not have the long gun in his possession when he was shot by Gibson.

Gibson's brother, Damion, told police in a statement that Shawn Gibson had been drinking and called the next morning and asked "What happened?"

Damion said that he told Shawn, "He's dead" and Shawn responded, "Who?" and then asked if his brother was serious, according to reports.

Gibson was arraigned in front of Judge Robert Restaino in City Court and pleaded not guilty. Gibson was ordered held without bail in Niagara County Jail.

Gibson is a former resident of Lockport and, according to arrest records, previously has faced charges in both Lockport and Niagara Falls of gang assault, burglary with a deadly weapon, assault, felony robbery, assault with a weapon, and criminal possession of cocaine during the past 10 years.


There are no comments - be the first to comment