A Buffalo man and his pregnant girlfriend were shot and killed around 2:15 this morning in a residential area on the East Side.
Police identified the victims as Shamel Parker, 37, of Buffalo and Tyneisha Pettiford, 29, of Buffalo and Tonawanda.
Relatives previously said Parker was 41.
Pettiford was driving and Parker was her passenger in her silver sedan on the corner of Sycamore Street and Jefferson Avenue when another car pulled up and a gunman fired at the car. A neighbor said she heard about seven gunshots.
The victims’ sedan then spun to the other side of the intersection, crashing into an SUV in the driveway of a home on the corner of Jefferson Avenue. Around 7 a.m. today, there were pieces of debris from the car and spots of blood in the driveway on the other side of the intersection.
The man who lives in the home refused to be interviewed but said that his family is safe.
And there were still casings where the car stopped, and pieces of glass in the middle of the intersection, presumably from a broken car window.
Around 8 a.m., Kendra Williams, Parker’s 24-year-old niece, walked to the crime scene from her home near Sherman and Broadway. She said Parker lived with her family and was like her father. Williams said she doesn’t know who would kill him.
She said her seven siblings were home crying.
“Somebody killed my uncle,” she yelled, holding her stomach and sobbing. “I just want to see him one more time. He’s dead.”
Williams said Parker had gotten out of jail about 45 days ago and was doing well, hadn’t been in the streets and was getting ready to have a child. She said he was in a car accident Thursday, so he was in his girlfriend’s car. If somebody wanted to shoot him, she said, they wouldn’t have recognized his girlfriend’s silver sedan.
“That’s why it don’t make sense to none of us because nobody knows her car, she lives all the way in Tonawanda,” Williams said. “So why would someone just shoot them at a light? It just don’t sound right.”
Frances Ross, her mother and Parker’s older sister, said Parker worked at a temporary agency, was “very popular” in the East Side community and was her mother’s favorite child. She said Parker helped take care of their mother, who recently had an aneurysm.
“He liked to do family stuff, he played a lot,” she said. “If everyone in the house was asleep he’d come jump on the beds and bang on the doors or crazy stuff,” Williams said as a smile began to form on her face. “He bought all the kids stuff. He was giving.”
Williams seemed shocked, and when she wasn’t consoling her children or answering phone calls for the family, she would cry.
She put her arm around Kendra as Kendra stared at the blood in the driveway.
“You have to remember, have faith in God, OK?” she said to her daughter.
Across the road, William Barksdale, 72, lives on the corner of Jefferson and Sycamore. To the left of his house is the stoplight where the couple were shot.
“I’m really shook up because it could’ve been right here,” he said. “They could’ve shot up my house or shot my wife or shot me.”
Barksdale’s home has been shot at before, and he’s just about ready to move out. He’s lived in the East Side neighborhood since 1999 and he said, recently, violence has increased.
About four months ago, his neighbor’s windows and his backyard fence were shot, he said, as he pointed to two bullet holes in his tall white fence. Six months ago, down the street, he said a young man was shot and killed.
“It’s just young men got guns and they don’t know what to do with them and they’re just shooting up people and shooting up property, that’s what it is,” he said. “They get guns like they go buy candy.”
One of his daughters is in upstate New York for college. When she comes home, he wants her to be safe.
“I don’t want her to be in this environment because it’s trouble down here,” he said. “...I just feel like I want safety for my family, and I want to get out. It’s getting worse.”
Another neighbor, Cathy, who asked that her last name be withheld, fell asleep last night on her couch while watching TV. Her couch is in front of her porch window, and early this morning she heard about seven gunshots.
“‘Pow, pow, pow’ had woke me up, and I didn’t know what it was,” she said. “I thought they were shooting firecrackers.”
But she said she’s not scared living on the East Side. She said the amount of violence has stayed about the same during her 40 years living in the neighborhood.
“It can happen anywhere,” she said. “As long as you have faith in God, you just have to keep going.”
Anyone with information regarding the shootings is asked to text or call the confidential TIPCALL number, 716.847-2255.