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POLICE & COURTS

Man shot in the head is treated, released

A 38-year-old man was shot in the back of his head in Buffalo over the weekend, police said.

Terrence Terrell, of no permanent address, was treated Sunday in Erie County Medical Center and released.

Ferry-Fillmore District police said Terrell entered ECMC at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday with a gunshot wound to the back of his head.

Police said they are unsure where the shooting occurred but believe it may have happened in the area of Glenwood and Jefferson avenues. Terrell gave no information to the police about the incident.

The weapon used in the shooting was a small-caliber gun, and the bullet exited Terrell's head.

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Firebombs ignite house on West Ferry Street

At least one arsonist is being sought for throwing multiple firebombs Sunday morning at a West Ferry Street home, sparking a fire that heavily damaged the house.

No one was injured, but the Red Cross is assisting two adults and two children, fire officials said.

Firefighters were called to 443 W. Ferry St. at about 12:08 a.m.

Damage was estimated by officials at $10,000 to the building and $2,000 to the contents. It was unclear whether fire officials are looking for one or more arsonists.

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2 accused in kidnapping over $1,800 drug debt

Two Buffalo men have been charged with kidnapping a man who owed them about $1,800 for a crack cocaine, holding the man for ransom for half a day and trying to extort the unpaid debt from the victim's girlfriend, police reported.

John M. Brown, 22, and his alleged accomplice, Jabril Harper, 19, are accused of kidnapping the 53-year-old victim from the Shoreline Apartments at about 7 a.m. Saturday and holding him against his will for more than 12 hours before he was released to police. The victim admitted to police that he owed the men about $1,800 for crack cocaine.

"It's a bizarre set of circumstances," Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards said Sunday. "He was very fortunate that the Buffalo Police Department was able to take action and save him before they caused further harm."

Central District police said the two kidnappers threatened the victim, saying that if their demands for the unpaid debt were not met, they would harm him.

The victim was placed in a vehicle, forced to turn over his credit card and was driven to various stores in Buffalo and Cheektowaga where he charged items for his abductors totaling about $400, police said.

The kidnappers then forced the man to call his girlfriend and informed her that they would harm him if she failed to meet them at a restaurant on Niagara Street with the ransom, police said.

The girlfriend called Buffalo police. When Brown and Harper went to the restaurant with the victim to meet the girlfriend at about 11:15 p.m. Saturday, they were met by Buffalo police, who arrested them at the scene.

Brown, of Mariner Homes, and Harper, of Taurillo Drive, were each charged with coercion, kidnapping and grand larceny by Detectives Thomas O'Brien and Edward Cotter.

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Cause of fire sought on Vincennes Street

Buffalo fire officials are trying to determine the cause of a two-alarm blaze that caused about $30,000 damage Saturday evening at 106 Vincennes St., a vacant 2 1/2 -story house in the old First Ward.

Authorities said the fire erupted at about 5 p.m., spreading flames to two neighboring houses -- 104 and 108 Vincennes -- and causing extensive exposure damage.

No damage estimates were released for the two neighboring houses, and no injuries were reported.

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Woman and man attacked at Genesee and Mills

A Northumberland Avenue woman and a Fay Street man were attacked by two men, one of whom was armed with a gun, early Christmas Eve near the intersection of Genesee and Mills streets, police said.

At 12:15 a.m. Sunday, the couple were approached by the assailants. One of the men pushed around the female, while the second attacker pulled out a gun and pistol-whipped the man. The pistol-whipping left the man with a small cut to his right eye.

The assailants were seen running west on Walden Avenue toward Best Street.

Police did not have a good description of the attackers, because the victims were intoxicated, officials said.

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Purse stolen from woman while attending Mass

A Buffalo woman's purse was stolen while she was attending Sunday morning Mass.

The incident occurred at about 9 a.m. in Holy Angels Catholic Church, 348 Porter Ave.

According to the victim, Ann Marie Heine, the service had just started when the thief took a seat behind her.

"He sat for a minute or two, then reached over the pew, grabbed my purse and ran," Heine said.

The suspect broke a front-door window of the church on his way out, before fleeing south on foot to Cobb Alley, Heine and a witness reported.

The purse contained two credit cards, a cell phone and $50.

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