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Four hurt in Niagara Falls shootings, stabbing within three hours

NIAGARA FALLS – Niagara Falls Police were called to the scene of two separate shootings and a stabbing Tuesday, all of which occurred within a span of three hours and involved groups of people fighting.

Four people who were injured in the three incidents wound up at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for treatment, though none of their injuries were considered life-threatening, police said.

At 2 p.m., police were called to a residence at 1339 Whitney Ave. in response to a report that someone had been shot. Police said a fight between several people outdoors had escalated, involving even more participants who had arrived by car. During the ruckus, police said, 26-year-old Robert Kwame Cox emerged from the house with a handgun, causing several people who were fighting on the porch to flee.

Police said Cox fired once, striking a 29-year-old man in the left forearm. The victim was taken to the hospital in a private vehicle before police arrived. Most of those who had been involved in the melee, including Cox, were gone from the scene before officers appeared, police said.

While detectives were interviewing witnesses at police headquarters and the shooting victim at the Medical Center, officers were called back to the Whitney Avenue address at 3:15 p.m. for reports of more shots fired. At the scene, police were told that a man had exited a car in a nearby alley, ran between two houses and fired shots at 1339 Whitney.

According to detectives, a bullet hole was found in the front of the house and a slug was found on the floor inside. After conducting a sweep inside the house, detectives found Cox hiding in a second-floor bathroom and took him into custody.

Police said a woman was injured in the second incident, but was not hit by gunfire. She also was treated at the hospital and released.

Another woman later arrived at police headquarters to report that she had been assaulted in the first shooting incident. Police said they were able to identify her as a mutual combatant in the initial melee based on a video of the fight that was posted on Facebook. As a result, police said no charges would be filed in connection with her complaint.

Meanwhile, Cox was charged with first-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment for his alleged role in both incidents. Police said he was scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Niagara Falls City Court.

Less than three hours after the second shooting incident, at 6 p.m., officers responded to another very large group fight at Diamond Park Lane. At the scene, they found 16-year-old girl with two knife wounds to her upper arms which, police said, appeared to have resulted from cuts by a utility knife.

As detectives investigated the source of her injuries and paramedics treated her on the scene, police said the already large crowd swelled to about 100 and grew more unruly, prompting Niagara Falls police to call for mutual aid from the Town of Niagara Police Department, the Niagara County Sheriff's Office and New York parole officers, who helped patrol the vicinity for about 30 minutes, police said.

The injured girl was transported to the Medical Center for treatment. Police said they made two subsequent arrests for disorderly conduct and failure to disperse, neither of which was connected to the stabbing. Both were interviewed about the stabbing, however, and each was issued an appearance ticket before they were released.

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