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Buffalo homicide victims were trying to escape gang life

The two people fatally shot in Buffalo last week were getting help to escape a culture of violence.

Jayvone Shackelford-Bishop, 17, of Buffalo died from his injuries after being shot Wednesday afternoon near Norway Park and Dodge Street, just west of the Kensington Expressway and Martin Luther King Jr. Park, police said. Shackelford-Bishop was driven to Erie County Medical Center in a private vehicle after he was shot. Police reported on Thursday that he died from his injuries.

Dimitrius Morgan, 26, of Buffalo, was killed Thursday afternoon near the corner of East Delavan and Courtland avenues, police said.

Both victims had been working with Buffalo Peacemakers, a violence and gang intervention program, said the Rev. James Giles, who coordinates the program.

Shackelford-Bishop had been involved with mentors and group counseling for about two months, Giles said.

He said it's not clear what may have led to the shootings, since both victims connected with the program, which aims to provide mentorship and help young people lead lives away from violence.

"The thing is, both of these boys had really pulled up out of the gangs," Giles said.

Shackelford-Bishop formerly attended Hutch Tech. A wake will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Greater Royal Worship Center, 1335 Clinton St. A funeral service will follow at noon.

Related: Map of homicides in Buffalo - 2018

For Buffalo youth, the toll of everyday gun violence is all too real

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