A rowdy street party in Lackawanna that ended with one person shot sparked a revision in the city charter that was unanimously approved by the City Council this week.
Chapter 160 – called the Nuisance Ordinance – now gives the city the authority to evict tenants after a second incident at the same address.
"It adds teeth to the existing ordinance and gives police authority to evict tenants after a second nuisance party at the same address," said Louis Violanti, Lackawanna assistant city counsel.
A birthday party thrown by a Holland Avenue resident on the evening of May 20 attracted some 400 revelers, said First Ward Councilman Abdul Noman, who said he received numerous phone calls from his constituents complaining of the noise.
"The residents kept calling me until almost 4 a.m. because they could not sleep," said Noman. "I was at the scene when I heard 15 rounds of gunfire. One person was hit in the back, and was taken to ECMC."
The gunshot victim was not believed to have suffered life-threatening injuries, Lackawanna Police said. No arrest has been made.
Initial police reports indicated 100 people were at the street party that featured music and a DJ.
Noman said about 400 people were there just before 3 a.m., when gunfire erupted near the intersection of Holland and McGuire Street.
Noman said last year the same resident held a similar party, but that party did not end in gunfire.
"We warned him to keep the crowd in check," said Noman. "Apparently he did not heed our warning. There were bottles and trash all over with people going to the bathroom in the street and on people's lawns."
When the shooting started, Lackawanna Police called for backup, Noman said. Police were dispatched from Buffalo, West Seneca, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and Brant, said Noman. First responders were also sent from the Erie County Sheriff's Office and the state police.
"We just don't have the manpower," said Noman. "But I know Lackawanna is working hard to get to the bottom of this."