Buffalo Had A Higher Rate of Shootings Than Chicago
Over the last six years, the risk of being shot in Buffalo was nearly as high as the risk faced by residents of the Windy City.
In the five years before Chicago's shootings exploded in 2016, Buffalo and Chicago were neck and neck in the number wounded or killed by gunfire per 100,000 residents, according to a Buffalo News analysis.
Buffalo actually had a higher rate of shootings than Chicago twice in the last six years, The News found by examining Buffalo Police and Census data, along with Chicago shooting data published by the Chicago Tribune.
From 2011 through 2015, for every 100,000 residents, 98 people were shot in Chicago and 94 in Buffalo.
In 2016, 161 of every 100,000 residents in Chicago were shot. In Buffalo, 115 people of every 100,000 were shot last year.
Like Chicago, Buffalo also saw a surge in gun violence in 2016. There was an 18 percent increase in the number of people shot last year compared to the prior five-year average.
Buffalo police told New York State that 296 people were wounded or killed by gunfire in 2016. A Buffalo News analysis of Buffalo police crime data had put that number at 288 people: 254 wounded and 34 killed.
A News analysis published last month found 1,286 people were shot in Buffalo from 2011 through last year.
Three-quarters of all shootings in Buffalo over those six years occurred on the city’s East Side, where only a third of the city’s population lives, the News analysis found.
That means that part of the city and the people who live there bear a disproportionate burden of dealing with gun violence.
Many victims of shootings in Buffalo are people engaged in risky behavior, such as buying or selling drugs and gang lifestyles.
But bullets also hit children and other innocent bystanders.
Lexi Behan, 13, while being treated at Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo for a gunshot wound to the chest. She was struck July 6 while on the porch of her home. (Photo provided by Behan's brother, Gabor Karpati)
Thirteen-year-old Lexi Behan was shot July 6 by a stray bullet while she sat with family members on the porch of her West Side home on Breckenridge Street.
The bullet pierced her chest, went through both lungs, tore a hole in her esophagus and got lodged in her right shoulder.
The teen survived the shooting but was under sedation and in a medically induced coma at Women & Children’s Hospital.
Read more at: The Buffalo News