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ARREST FOLLOWS SHOOTINGS THAT KILLED MAN, INJURED 3

Buffalo police have charged a 21-year-old man with killing another man and wounding three other people after opening fire with a handgun Tuesday night in a Cornwall Avenue apartment.

Jason A. Smikle of Winter Street was charged early today with second-degree murder, first-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, said Capt. Joseph A. Riga, chief of the Homicide Bureau.

The dead man was identified as Chevon Robinson, 36, of Lockport.

Admitted to Erie County Medical Center were Phillip James, 30, of Buffalo, who was listed in serious condition; Neil Clayton, 29, who lived at the shooting scene and was listed in fair condition; and Adrianne Drew, 21, of Lockport, who was being evaluated.

The shootings occurred in the upper apartment at 385 Cornwall, Riga said. James jumped from a second-floor window to escape, police said.

"There's some evidence in the house that it may have been drug-related," Riga said. "A quantity of crack cocaine was found."

Police described Smikle as an acquaintance of the people he shot.

"They gave us a nickname of Speedy, and we were able to talk to his friends and relatives, who told us where he might be," a police official said today.

Patrol officers and members of the Major Case Squad used the information to trace Smikle, whom they apprehended on Winter Street on the West Side shortly after midnight.

At least five people were in the upper apartment when Smikle pulled out a handgun and started firing, Riga said. Shots were fired in several rooms.

Smikle reportedly fled through a back door of the house, Riga said, and police followed footprints in the snow to the area of Northumberland and East Delavan avenues.

Shards of glass framed the front window through which one victim had fled. Rescue personnel found the man a block away on Cambridge Avenue.

Drew, the young woman, ran to a neighboring house for help.

Engine 33 firefighters had gone to 383 Cornwall at 6:31 p.m. on a report of someone having trouble breathing, a dispatcher said.

Learning of the shooting, "The guys started calling right away for help," he said. About an hour later, some firefighters left the shooting scene, carrying large plastic bags.

"There was so much blood, their clothes got contaminated," the dispatcher explained. "For biological reasons, they take their stuff off right there."

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