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POLICE & COURTS

Buffalo man, 18, shot after party, dies in ECMC

An 18-year-old Buffalo man who was shot Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of a Saturday night sleepover party in Cheektowaga died at 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

Khalid Ali, of Dearborn Street, died in Erie County Medical Center, where he had been listed in critical condition.

Cheektowaga police said five youths between the ages of 15 and 18 were in the bedroom of an Ivanhoe Road garage apartment playing with a rifle when the weapon discharged at about 2:15 p.m.

Police said it is possible the shooting was accidental. A 15-year-old boy was arrested on a weapons possession charge after he was found with a handgun that was not involved in the fatal shooting.

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Man with handgun robs Hertel Ave. restaurant

A man, armed with a handgun, robbed the Burger King on Hertel Avenue on Sunday night, making off with the cash register drawer, which he stuffed in his backpack, police said.

Northwest District Police said the robber, wearing a yellow bandana on his head and a nylon stocking covering his face, entered the restaurant at 1083 Hertel Ave. at about 9:45 p.m.

Police said the man pointed a gun at two female employees and ran out the door with an unknown amount of cash.

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Worker almost drowns, rescued from Eden pit

A worker escaped with his life Sunday morning after falling head-first into a 12-foot sewage-pump pit at Welch Village in the Town of Eden.

Eden police, who were called to the scene at 10:25 a.m., said Duane Pieri, 61, of Blasdell, was extricated from the pit by the Eden Fire Company and Eden Emergency Squad. They credited the victim's co-worker, Duane Holcomb, with preventing him from drowning in a foot of sewage water at the bottom of the pit.

Pieri was taken by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center, where he was listed today in fair condition.

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Drive-by shooting victim in critical condition

A 29-year-old Buffalo man was clinging to life today after he was shot in a drive-by shooting Saturday morning on Route 33, near Olympic Avenue, detectives said.

Ernest Johnson of Kensington Avenue suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. He remained in critical condition today in the intensive care unit of the Erie County Medical Center.

Homicide Squad Detective Sgt. Daniel Rinaldo said Johnson was a passenger in a van driven by another man in the right lane on Route 33 at 12:47 a.m., headed east, when another vehicle pulled alongside and someone fired a barrage of bullets.

Police said two vehicles were spotted driving away from the scene -- a small gray two- or four-door car and a white sport utility vehicle.

Rinaldo said police suspect the shooting was prompted by an argument at a house party earlier that night, and detectives have interviewed several people who were at the party.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Buffalo Police's Homicide Squad at 851-4466.

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Officer rescues pair asleep in burning van

A Town of Hamburg officer is being hailed as a hero for pulling two Versailles men out of a burning vehicle Sunday morning while it was parked at Brierwood Plaza, 5450 Southwestern Blvd., according to Town of Hamburg Police.

Nicholas Snow, 44, and Todd Green, 21, were not injured.

Officer John Bluman spotted the burning vehicle parked at at 4:12 a.m. The engine compartment was on fire.

Bluman found the two men sleeping in the van, woke them and got them out. The vehicle was consumed by fire within minutes.

Police said Bluman met the two men earlier in the night at the plaza. They told Bluman they were too tired to drive and would be sleeping in their van.

According to police, Bluman told them he would "keep an eye on them during the night."

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Suspect found hiding in his mother's bathtub

Police searching for a man who allegedly threatened a woman with a gun said Sunday they found him hiding behind the shower curtain in his mother's house.

Northeast District officers said a woman reported that Timothy Kuhn, 18, pushed her in the face, showed her a gun in his waistband and threatened to kill her Saturday evening at East Delavan and Courtland avenues.

Informed that Kuhn was in a house on Courtland, officers said, they got permission from Kuhn's mother to search upstairs and found him hiding in the bathtub. Kuhn was charged with menacing with a weapon, harassment and obstruction of governmental administration.

Police also charged Abdur-Rahim Lopez, 17, with obstruction of governmental administration for allegedly telling them Kuhn wasn't in the house.

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