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POLICE & COURTS

Homicide investigators probe pair of shootings

Two people were shot at about 10 p.m. Thursday, within a half-mile of each other, Buffalo police said.

One male was shot in the 200 block of Oakmont Avenue and the other victim, in the 300 block of Edison Avenue.

Buffalo homicide detectives were on scene of both shootings. At least one of the victims was reported to be a young teenager, according to Buffalo police.

Rural/Metro Medical Services took both people to Erie County Medical Center.

Their identities and conditions were unavailable.

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Buffalo motorcyclist hurt in Amherst crash

A Buffalo motorcyclist was in the Intensive Care Unit at Erie County Medical Center on Thursday after he was injured in a crash with a car late Wednesday at Sheridan Drive and Hopkins Road in Amherst.

Amherst police said Charles H. Zeis, 24, was eastbound on Sheridan Drive on a 2001 Harley-Davidson and apparently ran a red light, striking the trunk area of a 2001 Toyota headed north on Hopkins and driven by Erin L. Schuster, 18, of Amherst.

Zeis was catapulted over the car, landing on his head, suffering head and neck injuries.

He was listed in serious condition late Thursday in the trauma unit at ECMC, a hospital spokeswoman said.

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Fatal shooting gets man 20 years in prison

Mario Vazquez was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man during a street argument last summer.

State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang told Vazquez, 21, of Whitney Place, he will now have "a long time to think about the consequences" of killing Henry Figueroa, of Seventh Street.

Prosecutor Thomas M. Finnerty said Vazquez repeatedly shot Figueroa on Whitney near Maryland Avenue at about 1:30 p.m. July 10 after they argued. An Erie County grand jury indicted Vazquez, jailed since last summer, for second-degree murder.

Neither Vazquez, who pleaded guilty May 4 to a reduced charge of first-degree manslaughter, nor defense attorney Thomas J. Eoannou spoke during Thursday's sentencing.

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Jury acquits man in attempted shooting

A Hertel Avenue man was acquitted Wednesday of charges he fired two shots at another man at Tennyson and Tacoma avenues late Jan. 22.

Shareef Abdullah, 30, was found not guilty of a single count of first-degree attempted assault. He had been accused of firing a gun at at Hassan "Avalanche" Bland, an Internet chat room acquaintance. The jury verdict came after about three hours of deliberations following a three-day trial before Senior Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico.

Bland, 34, of Tennyson, had testified it was Abdullah who fired at him twice. But Abdullah's attorney, Paul S. Piotrowski, pointed to Bland's criminal record as well as the lack of police follow-up in the investigation and corroborating evidence.

Piotrowski also noted Abdullah, who is married and the father of three, had no motive to try to shoot Bland.

Court officials noted that in February 2000 Bland was shot four times in the back and right leg outside his Northland Avenue apartment after being confronted by two men about 4 p.m. Feb. 8, 2000.

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Pot-growing setup tied to Fort Erie man

FORT ERIE, Ont. -- A Fort Erie man faces charges after Niagara Regional Police Wednesday uncovered a marijuana-growing operation on Ridge Road North, police said.

Fredrick Kommer, 53, was charged with production of a controlled substance. Kommer owns the home where about $20,000 worth of marijuana plants and growing equipment were seized, police said.

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Second suspect charged in drug deal-slaying

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- A second suspect in the 2008 slaying of Pierre Repper of Quebec was apprehended Thursday by Niagara Regional Police.

Shawn Monger, 24, of Welland, was charged with second-degree murder and is scheduled to appear in a St. Catharines courtroom today. Monger's arrest follows the Tuesday apprehension of Sebastien Hebert, 35, of Chateauguay, Quebec, who also is charged with second-degree murder.

Repper's body was found June 5, 2008, in the forebay at the Sir Adam Beck Power Plant on the Niagara Parkway.

Authorities believe Repper traveled to the Niagara Region in April 2008 to complete a deal for a large quantity of marijuana.

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Attack on driver called domestic dispute

IRVING -- An Irving man was charged with harassment and criminal contempt after he attacked the driver of a car in motion about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in the Town of Hanover, Chautauqua County sheriff's officials said.

Jerry R. Miller, 63, of Willow Drive, is accused of attacking the driver, a Jamestown resident, on routes 5 and 20. Deputies called it a domestic dispute. The victim has an order of protection against Miller, deputies added.

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