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Amherst police identify 31-year-old killed in Thursday night shooting

Amherst Police Friday identified James Booker III, 31, of Amherst as the victim of the fatal shooting Thursday night at a Springville Avenue house.

Booker was father to five daughters, the youngest of whom was 9 months old, according to his Facebook page. He regularly posted pictures of him with his baby, beaming about spending time with her.

He had been renting the house since the beginning of August, according to his Facebook page. Neighbors said they sometimes saw him with his youngest daughter or with his pitbull named Sasha.

The shooting was reported at 10:17 p.m. When police arrived at 215 Springville, they found the man dead.

No arrests have been announced, but police said in a statement early Friday that "at this time there is no known danger to anyone in the area." Springville Avenue is about a block away from Windermere Elementary School.

A neighbor said Friday that he heard five shots in rapid succession, then a few seconds later, two more shots.

"I heard gunshots," said the man, who requested anonymity. "It sounded like it was in the yard. They were fast."

After the shooting, the Erie County Sheriff's Air One helicopter flew above the block for a few hours as police searched for the gunman, the neighbor said.

Friday morning, Amherst police still had yellow police tape cordoning off a few houses near the shooting site, and an officer was parked in a police cruiser on the street. Police said to expect an increased law enforcement presence in the neighborhood.

Police asked anyone with information to contact the Amherst Police Detective Bureau at 689-1322.

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