Police say shooting, stabbing being probed as double homicide

Falls police stand on guard outside a home on the 3100 block of Ninth Street on Thursday morning. Investigators said Friday that the second of two people discovered at at the home had died as a result on numerous injuries, including multiple severe stab wounds.

Falls Police Criminal Investigation Division detectives are investigating what they have now confirmed is a double homicide in Cornerstone Village Apartments.

Investigators said Friday that the second of two people discovered at a home in the 3100 block of Ninth Street had died as a result on numerous injuries, including multiple severe stab wounds.

Sonia Hamilton, 60, died from her wounds while being treated at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo on Thursday night. 

Her son, Brian Harris, 31, had been found dead inside the home where police were called at 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

Neighbors called police after reportedly hearing gunshots coming from the home. Arriving patrol officers found Hamilton laying on the sidewalk, in front of the home, bleeding heavily from several serious stab wounds.

While some patrol officers worked feverishly to try to save Hamilton, other officers entered her nearby home and located Harris' body. Detectives said Harris had sustained a fatal gunshot wound.

Almost immediately, investigators said there was no evidence to suggest that Harris had caused the injuries to his mother.

In a separate matter late Friday afternoon, detectives said they had arrested a Falls man, in Cleveland, in connection with an incident on Jan. 17 in the 900 block of Ontario Street.

"Today, Billy Benton was arrested in Cleveland with the coordination of the U.S. Marshal's Felony Fugitive Task Force, which includes members of the Niagara Falls Police Department, and the Cleveland branch of the Marshal's Task Force," Detective Lt. John Conti said. "He was taken into custody, without incident, in connection with an armed robbery and shooting in January."

Conti said the January incident is unrelated to the Cornerstone Village double homicide.

Benton, 31, is being held on charges of second-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon as wee as an outstanding parole warrant.

The Falls man is no stranger to police after a June 2007 run-in with officers. 

Patrol officers had responded to a call of “a man with a gun in an orange bag” in the 1100 block of Niagara Avenue as officers approached the man, later identified as Benton, who was 19 at the time, he began to walk away and then ran from them into the backyards of homes in the 2000 block of Lockport Street.

As Benton ran, he threw the orange bag into a garbage can as a second suspect tried to distract the officers. The officers finally caught up with Benton in the rear of a home in the 1100 block of Niagara Avenue and took him into custody.

Other officers recovered the orange bag and found a TEK-9 semi-automatic assault rifle with a loaded ammunition clip inside it. Benton was charged for possessing the assault weapon and for criminal possession of a controlled substance after officers found he had Hydrocodone pills in his pants pocket.

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