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5 arrested after shots are fired in robberies Off-duty officer provided key tip

A tip from an off-duty Buffalo police officer working security led to the arrest of four Buffalo men and a teenager accused of firing shots during two robberies early Sunday morning inside a convenience store and an eatery on Bailey Avenue.

The suspects were charged with attempted murder and first-degree robbery after allegedly firing shots at employees and stealing hundreds of dollars.

Awaiting arraignment were: Lamont Jenkins, 30, of Olympic Avenue; Julian Betts, 16, of Schutrum Street; Andre T. Jones, 27, of Gibson Street; Henry L. Ford, 19, of Gibson Street; and Joseph Everette, 18, of Hirschbeck Street.

The first robbery occurred at about 1:20 a.m. in the M&N Mini Mart at 2360 Bailey Ave.

Three men with two handguns and a shotgun allegedly forced employees to lay on the floor and stole several hundred dollars from a store register. The robbery was captured on a store video camera.

Shots were fired at an employee who was in the back of the store and threw a beer bottle at the suspects, said Michael DeGeorge, Buffalo police spokesman.

"He's lucky to be alive, because that's when they started shooting up the place," DeGeorge said.

Just after 3 a.m., at least four male suspects allegedly forced employees of Mike's Steak Joint, 3355 Bailey Ave., to the floor and took an undetermined amount of cash.

The men then fired shots upon fleeing the scene.

Suspects fitting the description of those involved in the two robberies entered the Fasttrac Market at 2751 Bailey Ave. a short time later, asking for a first aid kit.

That's when an off-duty Buffalo police officer working as a security guard recognized the suspects and reported the license plate of their vehicle.

Canisius College public safety officers later spotted the car at a Rite-Aid pharmacy on Delaware and Delavan avenues, where the suspects were captured on video purchasing a first aid kit and tending to a leg wound of one of the suspects in the pharmacy parking lot. Buffalo police believe the suspect accidentally shot himself, said DeGeorge.

Investigators caught up with three of the suspects at about 5 a.m. hiding in the attic of 346 Gibson St. The other suspects were captured later.

e-mail: jtokasz@buffnews.com

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