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POLICE & COURTS

Police called to scene of West Side shooting

Buffalo police are investigating a shooting Saturday night at Breckenridge and Grant streets.

Police said a 28-year-old man was shot once in the back shortly before 10 p.m. Police did not release the name of the victim, who was taken to Erie County Medical Center.

His injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, police spokesman Michael DeGeorge said.

"He appears to have been walking down the street and somebody may have walked up upon him and shot him in the back," DeGeorge said.

Meanwhile, Terrence B. Smith, 18, of Koscuiszko Street, was identified as the victim of a fatal shooting on Sussex Street near Deerfield Avenue shortly before 10 p.m. Friday.

DeGeorge said Smith was part of a group that had gathered on Sussex, near Erie County Medical Center, for a party.

When the party apparently was canceled at the last minute, an argument erupted and someone pulled out a gun and shot Smith, DeGeorge added. Smith was declared dead at the scene. No weapon has been recovered, DeGeorge said.

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Red Cross aids 3 adults after East Side fire

A fire caused $25,000 damage to a house on Houghton Avenue on the city's East Side late Friday, according to a Buffalo fire official.

The blaze was reported at 11:04 p.m. in the 1 1/2 -story frame house at 33 Houghton, which runs between Broadway and Memorial Drive.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The blaze caused $15,000 damage to the building and $10,000 damage to the contents.

No injuries were reported, but the Red Cross was assisting three adults.

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Patient accused in theft from nurse

NIAGARA FALLS -- A patient ran from his home at about 7:30 p.m. Friday after a home-care nurse discovered her purse open and $180 missing.

The nurse said she discovered the theft when she returned from the bathroom, police said. The man fled when the woman confronted him, said police, who were investigating.

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Incident at Pepsi Center leads to father's arrest

A 38-year-old Lockport father was arrested Friday after he dragged a 10-year-old hockey player off the ice at the Pepsi Center because the boy wouldn't stop firing pucks near the man and his young son, Amherst police said.

The incident started at about 10 a.m. Friday during an open hockey-skills practice at the Amherst Pepsi Center, Police Lt. Rick Walter said.

The 10-year-old boy was on the ice shooting pucks, and Charles M. Schmidl thought the boy's pucks were coming too close to him and his young son, Walter said. Several pucks came near Schmidl and at least one hit him, police said. Schmidl told police he asked the boy several times to stop, but he refused.

Schmidl then grabbed the boy by his shirt and pulled him off the ice, causing what appeared to be redness around his neck, police said.

Schmidl and the boy's mother got into an argument, police said, and the mother called police to the Pepsi Center.

Police charged Schmidl with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, and harassment, a violation. He was arraigned Friday in Amherst Town Court and told to return at a later date.

In response to the incident, Pepsi Center staff directed Schmidl and the 10-year-old to stay away from the facility.

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House fire reported in Town of Hamburg

Firefighters responded to a fire in the Town of Hamburg early Saturday, town police said.

The fire at the home at 9550 Sisson Highway, located south of the Village of Hamburg, was reported at 9:42 a.m. A cause and damage estimate were not immediately available, police said.

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Deputy witnesses crash fatal to Albion man, 18

ALBION -- An Orleans County sheriff's deputy witnessed a one-car crash early Saturday that claimed the life of an Albion man.

Brandon J. Bruski, 18, died in Medina Memorial Hospital about an hour after the crash shortly after 2 a.m. on Route 31A, just west of Route 98.

Deputy J.A. DeFilipps, who was parked at the time about 500 feet away from the intersection, said Bruski's car was eastbound on Route 31A, also known as West Lee Road, and crossed the road, struck a parked pickup truck, crossed a lawn, struck a flagpole and became airborne, ejecting the driver.

The accident remains under investigation.

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Urine specimens found in bag behind store

NIAGARA FALLS -- Niagara County Health Department officials retrieved a biohazard bag containing urine specimens discovered behind the Tops supermarket on Portage Road.

Police said the bag contained 20 specimen jars from a Lake Shore Behavioral Health facility that were destined for a medical laboratory in Cheektowaga. Police did not know how the bag ended up behind the store.

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