Family names 14-year-old who may have been target in Fennimore Ave. shootings - The Buffalo News

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Family names 14-year-old who may have been target in Fennimore Ave. shootings

The 3-year-old boy who was wounded Monday appears to be an unintended victim of the two shootings that occurred Monday night on Fennimore Avenue, but the same cannot be said of the teen who was wounded, police said today.

“It appears the 14-year-old may’ve been the intended target and that the 3-year-old was struck possibly by a stray shot,” Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said.

The 3-year-old and 14-year-old, whom relatives identified as Jamal Sanders, remain in critical but stable condition at Women and Children’s Hospital. The 3-year-old suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. The 14-year-old suffered wounds of the neck, back and one leg.

“We need all the help we can get on this one but we are making some progress,” Derenda said.

Homicide detectives continue to follow leads and have questioned individuals in connection with the incident.

Police say the two victims are not related, do not share a residence and do not live on Fennimore Avenue. The 3-year-old, who lives elsewhere in the Kensington-Bailey area, was visiting his grandfather when struck by the stray gunfire, law enforcement sources said today.

Neighbors on Fennimore Avenue this morning expressed shock at the shootings and complained about teens congregating on the street.

The boys were shot on the first block of Fennimore Avenue, not far from Suffolk at about 8:30 p.m.

“I was in bed sleeping, and I heard four or five shots. I came out, and there were police up and down the block,” said Dorothy Holliday, a 75-year-old neighbor who has lived on the block since 2003. “It is just so terrible that they would shoot a little child.”

The two wounded victims were across the street and four or five houses down from Holliday. But she saw police Monday night picking up shell casings directly across the street from her home.

“Right across, the street police were taking photographs and picking up shell casing,” Holliday said this morning.

Detective Chief Dennis J. Richards said police were looking for a young male wearing a dark shirt with a hood.

Residents told police they heard a number of gunshots before police were called to the scene.

The shootings apparently took place in a residential driveway, where an abandoned tricycle lay on its side after first responders took down crime scene tape before leaving the scene.

“The violence is unacceptable in this case,” Derenda said during an afternoon briefing today.

The police commissioner couldn’t say if the shooting was gang-related and said he did not believe it was a drive-by shooting. He would not identify the victims, as they are juveniles.

Fennimore Avenue is a two-block-long street of mostly two-story wood frame houses in the Kensington-Bailey neighborhood.

Police ask anyone with information to call or text the Buffalo police confidential TIP-CALL Line at (716) 847-2255.

Holliday and others complained about gangs of teenagers congregating in late afternoon and early evenings in the vicinity of where the shootings occurred.

“There is always a gang of kids over there, hanging around outside,” Holliday said. “And they are always being obnoxious.”


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