Niagara Gazette

January 15, 2014

Shooting witness sought by Falls police

By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Falls police are still looking for a witness and a motive in a shooting Tuesday afternoon on Pine Avenue.

However, detectives are convinced it was not a random act of violence.

"This was not a "drive-by" type shooting as has been rumored in the community and on social media," Falls Police Detective Lt. Mike Trane said.

What has troubled Trane is an inability to find what may be the only witness to the crime. Investigators are still searching for the brother of the owner of the L.O.E.G. clothing store.

"We believe he was the only person in the store at the time of the shooting, who would have witnessed it from in there," Trane said. "He has not returned our calls and has not had any contact with anybody."

What detectives say they have confirmed is that a lone black male 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 shot but the front door of the building was destroyed," Trane said. "Our investigation suggests this location was the only intended target." 

The gunfire erupted around 3 p.m. in the 2900 block of Pine Avenue. When patrol officers responded to the call, they found no employees inside the store. 

The store's owner arrived on the scene right after police.

“(The owner) said he had received a call from his brother, telling him to come to the store right away,” Trane said. “But he didn’t know what had happened. The owner said he hasn’t had any problems with anyone recently or any issues with anyone."

Witnesses reported seeing a single male suspect fire three or four shots into the door from what police believe was a small-caliber handgun. Trane said no one was injured in the shooting.

As the search for the suspect continues, detectives are asking for help from the public. Anyone who may have information about the shooting is asked to contact investigators at 286-4553.