Morning Homicide

Jamestown Police Investigating South Main Street Shootings

The Chautauqua County Forensic Team huddle after scouring an area around 129 S. Main St. P-J by Eric Tichy

First there was shouting.

Then gun fire.

A resident of 129 S. Main St. in Jamestown said he awoke to a commotion Thursday and only later learned one male had been shot and killed and two more hospitalized.

“There was a lot of people yelling and screaming,” said the resident, who wished not to be identified, but said he lives in one of the apartments where the shooting took place.

“When I looked outside I could tell that something happened. That’s all I really know,” he said.

Jamestown police are still looking for witnesses to the homicide, which occurred just after 4 a.m. Police Chief Harry Snellings said a social gathering had been going on at the South Main Street apartment complex before an argument broke out.

“They were having a party inside and an altercation took place,” Snellings told reporters at the scene. “At this time it looks like they came outside and that’s when this happened.”

Snellings said the altercation resulted in numerous shots being fired, but declined to comment on how many were involved or if more than one person fired a weapon. He said due to the party it’s likely that multiple people witnessed the incident.

A black SUV and tan Chevy Impala, both parked near the crime scene, had visible marks of gun shots. Members of the Chautauqua County Forensic Team looked through the vehicles as well as the surrounding area. At one point, an officer was observed using a metal detector.

The identity of the male killed was not released pending notification of relatives. The two others who were hit with gun fire were reportedly transported to WCA Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

As news of the homicide spread Thursday, city police issued a plea to local media to refrain from identifying possible victims based on information posted on social media.

“We are in the process of notifying the deceased family members,” the department said in a press release. “Please respect this and do not publish the victim’s name.”

Officials said names of the victims would likely be released today.

The shooting death is the second in as many weeks in the city. Jamestown resident Keith L. Robbins was indicted by a Chautauqua County Grand Jury earlier this week on a second-degree murder charge. Robbins, 36, allegedly shot and killed his estranged wife, 36-year-old Shari Robbins, around 9 a.m. on Nov. 10. — sparking a wide-scale manhunt that lasted thee days.

Shari Robbins’ death, believed to be a domestic violence incident, occurred in a parking lot at 9 Prospect St., about a block away from Thursday’s shootings. Snellings said back-to-back homicides, especially in the same vicinity, isn’t something that happens often locally.

“This is very rare for us,” he said. “We’ve gone years without having anything like this happen.”

Anyone with information regarding the homicide is asked to call Jamestown police at 483-7537. An anonymous tip can be left at 483-8477 or on the department’s Facebook page with the tip link.

In addition, Snellings said tips can be sent using the department’s new mobile app currently available. With the app, users can send anonymous information — as well as pictures and videos — directly to the department through their cell phones.

Snellings said police had already received tips to the homicide through the app.

“This is a great tool for us and the public,” he said. “We can get the info right away.”