A short car chase and double shooting in a Parkside neighborhood during rush hour Wednesday was the culmination of a dispute between two street gangs, police said Thursday.
“We do not believe this was random, we believe it was a targeted shooting,” Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said.
While police sources said there are strong indications the shooting was gang related, they declined to name the gangs.
The shooter and another man with him escaped after the shooting and police are still searching for them.
Maurice Buster, 25, the driver of a Nissan Armada SUV, was shot in both legs, and Evelyn Pratcher, 44, a passenger, was shot in one leg. She was released from Erie County Medical Center on Wednesday night and Buster was released from the same hospital Thursday morning.
A teenage boy in the vehicle was uninjured. Police said all three are relatives.
No weapons were found in Buster’s vehicle.
At about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, two men in a silver-colored Nissan Altima spotted the SUV near a grocery store on the 3000 block of Main Street and began following the SUV, which turned onto Crescent Avenue, police said.
Witnesses in the neighborhood said they saw the Altima chasing the SUV on Crescent. At the intersection of Crescent and Woodward Avenue, the Altima pulled up beside the driver’s side of the SUV and several shots were fired into the SUV.
Buster managed to make a sharp left on Crescent by the intersection of Parkside Avenue and he rear-ended a car stopped at a stop sign, police officials said.
With the intersection blocked by the crash, the driver of the Altima managed to flee the scene by turning around and heading eastbound on Crescent.
Homicide detectives were continuing their search for the shooters Thursday.