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POLICE & COURTS

Firefighter Reed still in critical condition

The condition of Buffalo Firefighter Mark Reed remained critical Saturday evening in Erie County Medical Center with "no real change," Buffalo Fire Commissioner Michael S. Lombardo said.

"He's still in a medically induced coma and on a respirator," the commissioner said.

Earlier Saturday, a steady stream of city firefighters and police officers continued to show up at the medical center to offer support to Reed's family members who have been holding vigil there.

"There's been a lot of support. A lot of restaurants are providing meals to the family," Lombardo said.

And there have been prayers.

"I see the firefighters coming and going. It's so sad . . .," said state Corrections Officer Beverly Pugh, who is assigned to the medical center. "He's surely in my prayers."

Reed, 36, has been in the intensive care unit since being seriously injured in an arson fire at a vacant Wende Street house last Sunday. He suffered severe injuries to his head and body when the house's chimney collapsed on him.

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Vacant Urban St. home destroyed by arsonist

An arsonist torched a vacant house on Urban Street early Friday, leading to a two-alarm fire that also heavily damaged the house next door.

Buffalo firefighters responding to the 12:47 a.m. alarm at 33 Urban, off Fillmore Avenue, found the vacant 2 1/2 -story frame house fully engulfed in flames.

The fire, which broke out in several locations, caused an estimated $65,000 damage to the house at 33 Urban, $60,000 damage to 37 Urban and $200 to 31 Urban, fire officials said.

One firefighter was treated in Erie County Medical Center for what was described as a minor injury.

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Shooting victim listed as Langfield Drive man

Buffalo police identified the 32-year-old man who was shot in the chest late Friday as Andre Jones of Langfield Drive.

Jones told police he knows the gunman who fired 10 shots at him.

A bullet struck Jones while he was lying on the kitchen floor.

Jones was in fair condition Saturday in Erie County Medical Center.

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Man pleads guilty to immigrant smuggling

A New York City man took a guilty plea on Friday in connection with an Irish illegal alien smuggling ring that was broken up last year by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents.

Phillip Reilly, 50, of Woodside, admitted to three counts of helping illegal aliens enter the United States, the U.S. attorney's office announced. District Judge John T. Elfvin scheduled a Sept. 26 sentencing.

Federal agents said Reilly was one of at least eight people who took part in a smuggling ring that received payment from Irish illegal aliens in exchange for helping them cross from Canada into Buffalo.

Authorities said dozens of illegal aliens were helped, with the smugglers charging fees in the thousands of dollars.

The ring was run by people in New York City and Buffalo, and several other defendants have already taken guilty pleas, authorities said.

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Four wounded by shots fired on Burgard Place

Four Buffalo residents were wounded in an early morning shooting on the 200 block of Burgard Place.

Parris Hales, 18, was in serious condition Saturday in Erie County Medical Center.

Three others were not wounded as seriously. Dion Williams, 18, was treated and released. The condition of Derell Cobbs, 29, who was being treated in the emergency room, was unavailable.

A bullet grazed Andre Ingram, whose age wasn't given, police said.

The shootings occurred at about 2:15 a.m.

No arrests had been made as of Saturday night.

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Man shot Thursday dies after surgery

A Buffalo man shot once in the stomach inside an East Amherst Street house Thursday afternoon has died in Erie County Medical Center, authorities said.

Joseph Ward, 22, died at 9:36 p.m. Thursday, following surgery in the medical center.

Ward was at 585 E. Amherst just after 2 p.m., when the shooting occurred.

Buffalo police cited signs of forced entry, and detectives said they are investigating the possibility that drugs were a motive for the shooting.

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