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Buffalo teen pleads guilty in East Side shooting

A Buffalo teen pleaded guilty to a range of offenses Tuesday, including one for shooting a man last spring on Langfield Drive.

Drequan “Lil Edison” Vernon, 16, of Janet Street admitted in State Supreme Court to committing first-degree assault for shooting Rasheen Wilson on April 21, 2015.

Wilson, who lives on Langfield Drive, was returning home on foot when Vernon spotted him. According to prosecutors, Vernon had been having problems with Wilson’s brother and used that as a reason to pull out a .32 caliber revolver when he saw Wilson. Wilson fled when Vernon pointed the weapon at him, and was shot in the back. He was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he underwent surgery.

Because Vernon was 15 at the time of the shooting, the maximum sentence for the assault is 3½ to 10 years in prison.

The teen also pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He still had the handgun on Sept. 9, when Officer Paul Fitzpatrick apprehended him after receiving a report of a man matching his description with a gun in the vicinity of Edison and Weston streets.

Vernon reportedly bragged to police about being a gang member responsible for more than one shooting in Langfield Projects. The weapons conviction carries a possible maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

And there were two more convictions: Vernon pleaded guilty to attempted burglary for a home break-in on Tudor Road in Cheektowaga and to forcible touching for unwanted sexual contact with a Buffalo woman.

“Despite his young age, Drequan Vernon is an extremely violent person,” acting District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. said in a press release. “The citizens of the Langfield Homes are safer with him off the streets.”

Vernon’s cases were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John P. Gerken, Jr.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 11 before State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia.