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SUSPECT REPORTEDLY IDENTIFIED IN GLADDEN SLAYING

Authorities have identified at least one suspect in the slaying of neighborhood activist Roy Gladden, who was shot in his home with his own gun, law enforcement sources said Monday.

Gladden's .357-caliber, six-shot revolver has been identified as the weapon used in the Nov. 25 shooting on Coit Street, according to sources who spoke on the assurance of anonymity.

Though no arrests have been made, authorities have confirmed that one suspect is under the care of mental health professionals for long-standing behavioral problems, sources said.

Because of the suspect's mental health, authorities don't plan to lodge charges unless they can get evidence that will tie the suspect to the murder, sources said.

Speaking guardedly about the continuing probe, Erie County District Attorney Kevin M. Dillon confirmed that ballistics tests have established what he called "a positive match" between the single bullet fired into Gladden's face and a .357 revolver "which was found in the house."

Dillon and spokesmen for the Buffalo police homicide squad refused to confirm that the murder weapon belonged to the victim.

Police reported finding no signs of a forced entry into the house.

Gladden in recent months had achieved a reputation as a fearless block club activist who threatened drug dealers and petty criminals and was the subject of at least one threat voiced by criminals.

Public records show that Gladden, a Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority ticket checker, applied for a revolver permit in July 1988 and was granted one in May 1989 to use the weapon for target shooting and hunting solely.

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