Three separate shootings early this weekend left one motorist grateful his life had been spared, another in serious condition and a shooter fleeing from police.
The spate of gunfire began at 5:30 p.m. Friday, when Caleb Brundige allegedly stepped onto a West Side porch and fired a shotgun at a blue 1993 Saturn driven by Jose Alvaro, whose front fender was peppered by the blast, police said.
"I was just driving by, and they mistook me for someone else who has the same car. If the shooter had waited two seconds more, the pellets would have come through the window and hit me in the face, and I would have been gone," Alvaro, 30, of Black Rock, said Saturday.
Officers Albert Monteforte and Donald Genovese were among officers who surrounded the house at 346 Massachusetts St. After talking to one of the occupants, the police entered the residence. They arrested six individuals and seized three loaded long guns.
Charged with reckless endangerment and criminal possession of weapons were Brundige, 22, of Gatchell Street; Fernando Rodriguez, 29, of Seneca Street; Eric McGriff Jr., 16, of Decker Street; and James Hodge, 22, Cordney Rawls, 20, and Beverly Lewis, 61, all of Massachusetts Street.
In the second shooting, at 10:45 p.m. Friday, Michael W. Smith, 23, of Phyllis Avenue, told police he was shot in the back while he was parked in his vehicle in a Crossman Avenue driveway.
Twin City Ambulance transported Smith to Erie County Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition Saturday night. Major Crimes Unit detectives were investigating the shooting. A bullet casing was recovered at the scene, and Smith's vehicle was impounded.
In the final incident, at about 3 a.m. Saturday, Officer Jason Mayhook spotted a man firing a shotgun twice from the porch of 373 Moselle St. No one was reported wounded in this shooting, police said.
The shooter fled through back yards when Mayhook and other officers arrived, but police were able to recover the 12-gauge shotgun from the porch.
"We take more guns off the streets than any other area in the state with the exception of New York City," Buffalo Police Commissioner Rocco J. Diina said. "It's a credit to our officers and certainly reduces the potential for more violent acts."
Diina urged citizens to let police know which individuals are carrying guns in the community.