Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 28, 2014

Two charged in raid

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — “We were looking at (activity at the store) before the shooting,” Narcotics Division Capt. Dave LeGault said. “They were certainly on our radar. But the investigations didn’t really yield anything.”

Criminal Investigation Division detectives were convinced the shooting was not an act of random violence, so narcotics investigators decided to change their course.

“After the shooting, we were directed by the chief to take a different angle (in looking into the business),” LeGault said.

Narcotics detectives changed their focus and discovered they could buy untaxed cigarettes at the store.

At the same time, criminal detectives were moving beyond their initial investigation of the shooting.

“We were looking at other avenues,” Detective Lt. Mike Trane said. “When we were (at the store investigating the shooting), we observed some stuff that even to the untrained eye appeared to be counterfeit.”

An investigator with the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA), who was in the store with police, confirmed that the DVDs and CDs were pirated copies of the copyrighted originals. Bevilacqua was behind the counter of the store when the task force of officers and agents arrived.

Trane said the investigation of the shooting is continuing. He said investigators have been able to question the only possible witness in the case, but that he was not cooperative.

“He said he didn’t see anything and didn’t know anything,” Trane said.

It was mid-afternoon on Jan. 15 when a lone suspect fired three or four shots from across the street toward the business. The suspect then ran to a dark-colored vehicle and fled the area, going north on 29th Street.

No one was hit by the gunfire, but the glass in the store’s front door was shattered.

Witnesses reported seeing a man fire three or four shots into the door from what police believe was a small-caliber handgun.

Contact reporter Rick Pfeiffer at 282-2311, ext. 2252.

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