Four killed, four others injured in Buffalo, New York shooting

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Four people were killed and another four wounded in an early-morning shooting at a Buffalo, New York restaurant yesterday. The shooting occurred as a party held in the restaurant was coming to a close.

At about 2:30 a.m. EDT (06:30 UTC), shots were fired outside the City Grill in downtown Buffalo. The victims were leaving a party in the restaurant, said authorities. The City Grill's managers had just decided to close the restaurant until it was scheduled to next open due to an argument inside when the shooting happened.

At least 100 people had attended the party, in order to celebrate the first anniversary of a couple whose wedding was held last year. A formal anniversary event was scheduled for a later date, officials said. The couple had married in Texas one year ago and came to Buffalo to celebrate with friends and relatives. The 30-year-old husband, who was born in Buffalo, was one of the four killed in the shooting, but his wife was not hurt.

Police have not yet released the identities of the victims. Of the three others killed, one was a 26-year-old man and two others were women. Those two were identified as 27-year-old Shawntia McNeil by McNeil's mother, Ruby Martin, and 32-year-old Tiffany Wilhite by Martin and Tiffany Wilhite's father, Raymond Wilhite. Three of the four were pronounced dead at the crime scene, while the fourth died in a hospital. The four injured in the shooting were all men, said authorities. As of Saturday afternoon local time, one was in critical condition at an area hospital, two were in stable condition, and one was in good condition.

Latoya Nuness, who witnessed the shooting as she was leaving the restaurant with friends, said, "I’ve never been through anything so crazy." She and her companions then ran into the kitchen for cover. "They were just shooting whoever they could shoot," she said.

Police arrested 25-year-old Buffalo resident Keith Johnson in connection with the shooting on Saturday afternoon. Johnson was charged with four counts of second-degree murder. Police do not know if he was a part of the fight that happened inside the City Grill, and have asked witnesses to step forward.