LOCKPORT – Vincent K. Smith Jr. of Niagara Falls has been indicted on charges of shooting an alleged drug dealer in the mouth and of firing bullets into a house.
Smith, 21, of no fixed address, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Niagara County Court to first-degree assault and second-degree weapons possession in connection with the Nov. 19 shooting of Dedrick Williams, 37, outside the Hometown Market on Pierce Avenue in the Falls.
Williams is under indictment himself, charged with two sales of crack cocaine – one on Oct. 28, before the shooting, and one on Dec. 6, after the shooting.
Assistant District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said the shooting was captured on store surveillance video, but it's unclear what the motive was.
Hoffmann said Smith seemed to be having words with another man beside Williams before the shot was fired. The bullet lodged in Williams' neck and cannot be removed without the risk of leaving him paralyzed, Hoffmann said.
On Dec. 18, Smith allegedly shot up a house on 22nd Street, but Hoffmann said it was a case of mistaken identity, because Smith's alleged target was the person who lived next door to the damaged home. No one was hurt.
A co-defendant, Jha'mere Mulkey, 19, of Whitney Avenue, previously pleaded not guilty in the Dec. 18 case, in which both he and Smith face charges of first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree weapons possession.
Hoffmann said Smith had to be extradited from North Carolina last week, but he may have been on vacation rather than actively seeking to avoid an arrest warrant.
Story topics: Shared