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Teen in critical condition after West Side shooting

A Buffalo teenager shot twice with a shotgun in the 800 block of Columbus Parkway just after 4 a.m. Saturday was listed in critical condition, Buffalo police said.

Police said four shots were fired at Elexe Mercado, 17, who was struck in the chest and back. Mercado is being treated in Erie County Medical Center. Further information was unavailable.


Damage put at $5 million as fire consumes mansion

FORT ERIE, Ont. -- A fast-moving fire destroyed an 8,000-square-foot mansion on Niagara River Parkway on Friday afternoon, causing an estimated $5 million damage, Fire Chief Larry Coplen said.

No one was injured.

The home belonged to Jim Miller, owner of Miller Auto Recycling.

Among the items lost in the fire were three antique cars, as well as the Miller family's Christmas presents.

Miller and his family, including a 3 1/2 -year-old girl, were at home when the alarm system went off at about 3:19 p.m. They discovered smoke coming out of a sauna at the house, and everyone got out.

By the time firefighters arrived, flames were shooting through the roof, Coplen said.

Firefighters from 10 trucks took more than four hours to douse the fire.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Saturday.

Miller's family went to stay with friends in the area, Coplen said, and Miller's employees and neighbors got Christmas presents together for the little girl to make sure she had something to open on Christmas morning.


DWI among charges in wrong-way crash

A Hamburg man who drove the wrong way on Route 5 Friday night and crashed into another car was facing multiple violations, including driving while intoxicated, Buffalo police said.

John A. Puglisi, 31, was stopped by Officer Jeffrey Jajkowski at about 8 p.m. on Route 5 near Tifft Street after the crash. No one was hurt.

Puglisi failed several sobriety tests and submitted to a breath test, which showed his blood-alcohol content was 0.12 percent, police reported. Police said they also found a crack pipe and small bag of crack cocaine hidden inside a seat belt.

Puglisi was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia and issued multiple driving violations.


Two robberies probed in Northwest District

Northwest District police are investigating two gunpoint robberies that occurred late Friday.

At 10:10 p.m., a man was robbed by two men who were standing in the entry way of his apartment building in the 200 block of West Delavan Avenue, police said. The robbers pointed a gun at him and forced him into his apartment and made him lie on the floor. The robbers took a 19-inch LCD flat-screen TV, a speaker and a black and silver watch with diamonds.

A man was robbed of Christmas presents and $2,000 in cash on Kenmore Avenue late Friday, police said. About 11 p.m., two men pointed handguns in the 1800 block of Kenmore Avenue, near Military Road. The victim was forced to return to his car, where he handed over gifts including a Playstation game console worth $300 and a Nintendo Wii valued at $150.


Man banned from casino makes another gamble

SALAMANCA -- A Friendship man who was barred from the Seneca Allegany Casino in 2009 was arrested there for trespassing Thursday, authorities said.

Donald L. Petitt, 48, of North Branch Road, was taken into custody after casino records verified he had been barred, Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies said. He is expected to answer to the charge in City Court on Wednesday.


Man shot in thigh is treated in ECMC

A man was shot in the thigh during a fight outside a Minnesota Avenue home where a party was being held late Friday, Northeast District police said.

The incident was reported just before midnight. The victim, Dwight Mitchell, no age or address given, was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was treated in the emergency room and released.


Cause being sought in Clinton Street fire

A fire in an attic left two Clinton Street residents without a home Friday night, fire officials said.

The blaze, which caused $30,000 damage, began shortly before 10 p.m. in a 2 1/2 -story house at 912 Clinton. Investigators said it began in the attic, but the cause is undetermined.

The Red Cross was assting two people.


$8,000 mobile wheelchair left unattended is stolen

NIAGARA FALLS -- An $8,000 mobile wheelchair left momentarily unattended was stolen at about 7 p.m. Friday outside a Cedar Avenue apartment building, police said.

The wheelchair, police said, was stolen as the owner helped a friend.