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'Person of interest' in Grape Street slaying of grandma and toddler in custody

At least one "person of interest" in connection with the July 2 shooting deaths of a grandmother and her toddler grandson outside her house on Grape Street is in police custody on unrelated charges, law enforcement sources told The Buffalo News.

"Significant community input played a key role" in identifying the possible suspect, one source said.

No charges related to either Grape Street shootings have been filed against the person or persons, the sources said.

Earlier Friday, Mayor Byron W. Brown said a double shooting Thursday night in front of the home on Grape Street where the grandmother and her 17-month-old grandson were killed and two men were wounded July 2 were connected.

“The shooting was not random. It was targeted, and it was gang-related,” Brown said, standing on the steps of City Hall.

Two men, ages 23 and 24, were shot Thursday night outside the Grape Street house and were at Erie County Medical Center on Friday. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening. The men shot Thursday were not the same men who survived the quadruple shooting on July 2, police said.

Police are making “good progress” on the Grape Street shootings, Brown and Deputy Commissioner Joe Gramaglia said. They pleaded with the public to come forward with more information.

“The public’s help is critically, critically important,” Brown said. He urged anyone with any kind of information about either shooting to call the Buffalo police confidential TIPCALL line at 847-2255 or Buffalo Crime Stoppers which is offering a $4,000 reward at 867-6161.

At about 12:30 a.m. July 2, Yvette Johnson, who had been celebrating her 54th birthday with her family, was fatally shot, along with her 17-month-old grandson Kyrie Johnson in front of the grandmother's home on Grape Street, near the corner of Best Street in the Fruit Belt section of Buffalo. Devery Johnson, who is Yvette Johnson's son and Kyrie's father, was also shot in the leg, as was a second man in the same attack. Police called the quadruple shooting a "horrific, horrific crime" and implored the public to come forward with information to help them catch the killers.

Yvette Johnson and her grandson, Kyrie Johnson, were killed in a quadruple shooting July 2. (Crime Stoppers Buffalo)

Police have increased patrols in the neighborhood since the July 2 shooting, Gramaglia said, but have added even more. "They'll be absolute dedicated patrols in and around that neighborhood," Gramaglia said late Thursday.

There were Buffalo police officers in patrol cars stationed near the scene of the shooting Friday morning. A third patrol car drove past.

A Grape Street resident who declined to give her name because she doesn't "want to get in the middle of whatever is going on" said her street hasn't been the same since the July 2 shooting.

"Nothing ever happens on this street," she said. "I used to sit on the porch at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning when I couldn't sleep. Right now, I'm afraid to do that."

Police: Two men hit by gunfire at home where grandmother, toddler were fatally shot

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