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MAJOR CRIME TASK FORCE JOINS SHOOTING PROBE

Members of the Niagara County Major Crime Task Force joined detectives here Monday as an investigation continued into the fatal shooting early Sunday of Tonio Bennett, 18, of 1513 Michigan Ave., whose body was found slumped over the front seat of his car parked in a lot at the Unity Park housing project.

Niagara County Coroner James Joyce said an autopsy early Monday evening showed Bennett died of a single gunshot wound to the head. Joyce said it was apparently a small-caliber weapon.

Detective Frank Coney said homicide officers spent most of Monday talking to persons who had seen Bennett before his body was found and interviewing acquaintances of the victim. He said, "It would appear to be solvable but will take a lot of leg work." Carlos Ferguson, who knew Bennett, discovered the body at 3:30 a.m. while he was walking in the area.

Coney said Monday that the victim reportedly was been at a Highland Avenue tavern about three hours before he was found in the car. Efforts were continuing to pinpoint his moves after that.

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