A deadly December on Buffalo city streets continued late Sunday night with the shooting death of a 28-year-old man gunned down on Peach Street in the Fruit Belt – the city’s 12th homicide victim in December.
Officers responded to the 200 block of Peach Street and found the body at about 9:20 p.m., following reports of gunshots heard in the area. The victim’s name hasn’t been released pending notification of relatives.
Authorities are disturbed by the recent spate of killings, close to one every other day in December. Not only have there been 12 killings in December, but eight of them have occurred in the second half of the month.
The Sunday night killing brings the year’s homicide total to 62, a dramatic increase over the 47 of last year.
While police officials are concerned, they don’t believe most law-abiding citizens are at any risk.
“These are not random acts,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said Monday. “We believe many are related. The individuals were targeted. We also know that some of the recent victims are suspects in some of the earlier homicides.”
Police sources say they believe one of the victims killed in the last week was a prime suspect in one of the earlier killings from this past fall. So that case would be cleared with the death of that suspect.
Derenda was reluctant to talk about the factors fueling the killing spree, but law-enforcement sources previously have blamed much of the deadly violence on rival street gangs settling their scores at the end of a gun.
Some of those disputes may have flared over something as minor as comments made between rival groups, sometimes on social media.
Sunday night’s homicide was the city’s third shooting over the weekend, part of the rash of shootings that have rocked Buffalo in the last two weeks.
Earlier Sunday, a man was shot at about 1:30 a.m., at Sycamore Street and Fillmore Avenue. And at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, another man was shot in the foot in the 200 block of Brinkman Avenue, near the intersection of Bailey and Walden avenues.
Both men’s injuries were described as non-life-threatening, police have said.
Anyone with information about the Sunday night killing, or any of the shootings, is asked to contact the department’s TIPCALL confidential number, at 847-2255.