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Buffalo starts second half of 2015 with two homicides

Two men were killed in separate Buffalo shootings late Saturday and early Sunday, a deadly beginning to the second half of the year, after the first six months of 2015 saw a dramatic drop in homicides.

In the first incident, police say two males showed up at Erie County Medical Center just after 9:30 p.m. Saturday and told authorities they had been struck by gunfire in the 300 block of Winslow Avenue.

Detectives say a 25-year-old Buffalo male died a short time later at the hospital. The other man, 44, also of Buffalo, was treated for a gunshot wound to the right hand and was discharged from the hospital.

The second fatal shooting occurred just before 1:20 a.m. Sunday in the 100 block of Montana Avenue during an outdoor party, police said.

Detectives say a 21-year-old male was struck by gunfire during a dispute with another individual. He was pronounced dead a short time later at ECMC. No other details were released late Sunday.

Homicide detectives were also investigating a non-fatal shooting Saturday in the 1300 block of Bailey Avenue. The victim was shot in the chest and leg and taken to ECMC for treatment, according to a police report. The report did not specify any other details.

Also, a male was shot in the left arm Saturday during an attempted robbery at Grant Street and Auburn Avenue, on the city’s West Side. The victim was taken to ECMC for treatment.

The two latest deaths bring the number of homicides in Buffalo to 14 for the year. During the first six months of last year, 21 people had been killed; there were 18 homicides in the first half of 2013, and 20 for the same period in 2012.

Despite the relatively low number of killings to start the year, police officials have warned that the numbers could spike at any time. In the second half of last year, for example, there were 41 additional homicides; and there were 29 more in the last half of 2013. Buffalo ended those years with 62 and 47 killings, respectively.