By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette — A 19-year-old man, gunned down on Pine Avenue, will apparently survive the attack.
After being rushed to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and then being transferred to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, investigators say the victim, who had been in critical condition, is now recovering.
"He was taken into surgery and afterwards his condition was upgraded to 'good,'" Falls Police Detective Lt. Mike Trane said. "We expect him to be released from the hospital soon and continue to recover."
Police were called to a report of shots fired in the 600 block of Pine Avenue about 10:15 p.m. Monday and the first officers on the scene found a brown Chevy Impala parked sideways on the street with three people inside.
One of the occupants was slumped over in the backseat with three apparent gunshot wounds to his chest.
The victim's mother, who also arrived at the scene, convinced police to allow the victim to be driven to NFMMC in the Impala with a police escort.
Investigators said the victim had phoned his mother, just before the shooting, to tell her several people were at his home, in the 600 block of Pine Avenue, trying to kick in the front door.
The victim's mother told police she got to her son's home and found him fighting with two other men while another man sat inside a "newer, nice-looking sedan." The mother said one of the men fighting with her son then pulled a rifle from the rear of the vehicle.
As she tried to push the man with the rifle, the woman said she told her son to run but the gunman began firing. The victim was hit three times.
The shooter then got back in the sedan and drove off.
A motorist, driving down Pine Avenue at the time, said he swerved to avoid the victim, who was running across Pine near the intersection of Seventh Street. One of the shots fired by the gunman shattered the rear window of the motorist's 2003 BMW.
Investigators said they have several leads in the case and are looking for a suspect.