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Buffalo man pleads to attempted murder, other charges

Buffalo man pleads to attempted murder, other charges

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Tombe Yanga

Tombe "Tom" Yanga. 

A Buffalo man pleaded guilty in four separate 2019 cases, including one for attempted murder in a shooting incident, the Erie County District Attorney's Office announced Monday.

Tombe Yanga, 22, pleaded guilty Friday afternoon in the four criminal cases before State Supreme Court Justice Paul B. Wojtaszek.

Yanga faces a maximum of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced at 10 a.m. April 9. He remains held without bail.

The DA's Office, who said the defendant is also known as Tom Yanga, said Yanga pleaded guilty to the "highest sustainable charges" in the four cases. The three other cases were related to robbery and drug charges.  

The second-degree attempted murder charge stemmed from a shooting incident July 22, 2019, in which prosecutors say Yanga, while seated in a vehicle, fired multiple shots into another vehicle on Tonawanda Street in Buffalo, striking a victim in the back. The victim survived the injury. 

According to prosecutors, Buffalo police responded, located the suspect's vehicle nearby and smelled the odor of marijuana, prompting a search of the vehicle.

Prosecutors said two illegal pistols were recovered from underneath the front passenger seat, with the cartridge casings recovered from the scene of the shooting determined to be fired from one of the recovered illegal weapons. Investigators linked the weapon to Yanga through DNA evidence.

Yanga also pleaded guilty to two other felony charges related to the shooting: second-degree assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. 

The other cases in which Yanga pleaded guilty were:

• A March 19, 2019, incident in which he pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. Prosecutors said Yanga stole a vehicle from a victim at knife point on Arkansas Street at approximately 8 p.m. 

Prosecutors said a Buffalo police officer on routine patrol the following night located the stolen vehicle on Plymouth Street at about 11 p.m. The officer watched Yanga get in the car and drive away, then pursued the vehicle. Yanga exited the vehicle on West Avenue, ran off, and was apprehended after two other officers responded to the call. 

• Yanga pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery for an Aug. 15, 2019, incident in which he and two others attacked a victim who was leaving a corner store on Grant and Hampshire streets.

During the assault, the victim’s wallet and bicycle were stolen. The cases against the two other defendants are pending.

• Yanga pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after he was the target of a search warrant that was executed by Buffalo police at an apartment on Grant Street on Sept. 19, 2019.

After Yanga was transported to the police station, officers said they found a bag that contained smaller bags of powder cocaine and heroin during a sweep of the patrol vehicle.

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News Staff Reporter

Long Island native, University at Buffalo graduate, part of the breaking news and criminal justice team for two years. Hired by The News in 1999, I covered high school sports for 15 years before being named deputy sports editor.

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