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Police insist spate of shootings doesn’t point to crime wave

Two shootings involved gangs. Two others were accidental – one person “playing around” with a gun, the other firing in celebration of the Fourth of July, according to police.

Five people in all were shot. One is dead.

And it all took place over a period of just an hour and a half overnight Monday.

Buffalo police on Tuesday tried to assure the public that the sudden spate of shootings wasn’t an indication of a crime wave.

Sometimes on holiday weekends, police see slight upticks in violence, Buffalo Police Lt. Jeff Rinaldo said at a press conference.

“When you have a number of incidents in a short time span it gives the impression that things are worse than they really might be based on numbers over the long haul of the year,” he said.

Police said the first two incidents are believed to have been accidental:

At 11:40 p.m. Monday, a 16-year-old Buffalo girl suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound after being struck by a bullet that ricocheted on the 200 block of Dartmouth Avenue near Bailey Avenue. She walked into Erie County Medical Center just before midnight and was treated and released.

At 12:10 a.m. Tuesday, a 25-year-old Buffalo man was shot in the leg on the first block of Sattler Avenue. He was treated and released from ECMC.

The next two shootings are believed to be gang-related:

At 12:35 a.m. a 21-year-old Buffalo man was shot on the first block of Warren Avenue, at Kent Street. The man was driven to ECMC in a private vehicle, and was treated and released.

Just after 1 a.m., one person was killed when two people were shot near Broadway and Strauss Street. Police said they are attempting to identify the deceased. The other victim, a 29-year-old man, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Detectives were pursuing a few leads in the Warren Avenue and Broadway shootings, Rinaldo said at the news conference.

The overnight shootings followed a fatal shooting Sunday night in Cheektowaga and 10 people being shot in Buffalo over seven days from June 27 to Monday afternoon. Among those victims was Juan Rodriguez, 12, who remains unconscious at ECMC in critical condition after he was shot in the head June 29 when two warring groups opened fire on each other on Humas Avenue. The boy opened the door to get his younger siblings to safety when he was struck, his mother’s boyfriend said.

Buffalo police ask anyone with information about any of the incidents to text or call the department’s confidential TIP-CALL line at 847-2255.

News staff reporter Harold McNeil contributed to this report.