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Man killed, another injured in shooting; Police probe for link to earlier incident

One young man was killed and another seriously wounded early Saturday in a double shooting that occurred just a few feet from the Kensington-Bailey area home where a 13-year-old girl was shot and severely injured three months earlier.

Police said Andre James, 22, of Buffalo, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wayne Willis, 19, of Buffalo, was wounded and taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition Saturday night.

Buffalo police listed the address as 180 Bickford Ave., one block south of Kensington Avenue, between Orleans and Suffolk streets. The two men were outside on Bickford when the shooting occurred shortly after 2 a.m.

Three months ago, Jalisa Goodman, 13, was shot at about the same time of day while visiting the home at 182 Bickford, according to police.

She was sitting on the floor, leaning against a bedroom wall and talking on the phone when a .38-caliber bullet tore through the wall and struck her in the back, near her spinal cord. Her condition originally was critical, as doctors worked to help her regain movement below her neck.

A 22-year-old man was charged with first-degree assault in that Oct. 31 incident, which Mayor Byron W. Brown blamed on young adults' marijuana use and gunplay, which left Jalisa as an innocent victim.

Buffalo police provided no hint Saturday of any possible connection between the two incidents.

"Detectives are looking at both incidents, but it's too early in the investigation," Buffalo police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said.

Saturday morning, seated in a car several houses away on Bickford, a man who said he owns two houses on the block insisted it's been a fairly safe neighborhood.

"It's always been a good area," said the man, who declined to give his name. "Just the past year, there's been problems here."

But he did note the proximity of the two incidents, less than a house apart.

"It's just a bunch of kids," he said. "It's got to be drugs."

One neighbor said he and his fiancee were awakened early Saturday by the sound of four gunshots and "a lot of commotion" outside.

"We heard gunshots and saw two guys laying on the ground and a lot of people running away," said the man, who also wouldn't give his name.

"I knew one was dead right away," he added. "The other one, you could see him moving. A young woman was doing CPR [on the older victim], trying to revive him, but it was too late."

Neighbors said they saw several cars parked on the street late Friday night or early Saturday morning, leading them to believe there was a house party in one of the residences.

"The detectives are still searching for a motive right now," DeGeorge said Saturday.

Police charged a bystander at the scene with hitting an officer.

Blake M. Bryant, 21, of LaSalle Avenue, ran from police at the scene, then assaulted an officer, according to reports. Officials said there was no indication Bryant was involved in the shooting.

Anyone with information about the double shooting is asked to call the Police Department's confidential tip line at 847-2255, or text a tip to (716) 847-2255.

e-mail: gwarner@buffnews.com