Four Shootings In Two Days Have Police, City On Alert

Jamestown police responded to a reported shooting incident Friday at 344 E. Fourth St., and later on Lakeview Avenue. No one was injured in any of the shootings, police announced. In the last two days, there have been four shootings in the city. It’s not clear if any of the incidents are related. P-J photo by A.J. Rao

A dangerous string of shootings in the city has put police and a restless community on edge.

On Friday, the first of two shootings reported in the city occurred shortly after 3 p.m., when a man reportedly dressed in black and a dark ski mask entered a 344 E. Fourth St. residence and opened fire.

The incident, according to Jamestown police, was not a random act and was likely targeting one of two individuals inside the home. No one was reported injured.

Police said the suspect fled the scene in an unknown direction and is believed to be armed and dangerous.

According to Captain Robert F. Samuelson, division commander of the JPD, the residence at 344 E. Fourth St. is not without a checkered history.

In August, 29-year-old Hector M. Guevara of Jamestown was charged after allegedly entering the residence and stabbing two people inside. Both victims were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

In May, a man was taken into custody after police executed a search warrant at the residence and found heroin, cash and a firearm inside.

Police have yet to confirm whether Friday’s shooting was drug-related.

At about 8 p.m. Friday, police responded to another report of shots fired in the area of Lakeview and Euclid avenues. Police said a vehicle traveling in the area was reportedly struck by one of the rounds fired. No injuries were again reported.

Samuelson said investigators are determining if Friday’s incidents are linked to two other shootings that occurred Thursday.

One happened shortly after 1 p.m., in the area of Falconer and Thayer streets. Officers at the scene were reportedly advised that two black males wearing black winter-type jackets fired at a vehicle traveling through the area. No injuries were reported.

The other shooting was the early morning homicide outside a 129 S. Main St. apartment complex. The incident, which left one man dead and two others injured, occurred just after 4 a.m., when an argument reportedly broke out during a social gathering.

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

All four incidents come in the wake of the Nov. 10 shooting death of Shari Robbins, who was gunned down in a parking lot at 9 Prospect St. Jamestown resident Keith L. Robbins, 36, was indicted by a Chautauqua County Grand Jury earlier this week on a second-degree murder charge after allegedly shooting and killing his estranged wife.

“In my 24 years in law enforcement, I’ve never seen (a series of gun incidents) like this before,” Samuelson said. “Even though these are targeted acts and the average citizen is not directly affected, there are people walking around (in these areas) and bullets flying around is definitely an issue for the community. So we’re very concerned about this.”

Indeed, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, the city of Jamestown has experienced more gun violence in 2016 than the previous 10 years.

Statistics indicate the city has averaged just one shooting incident a year since 2006, with 2015 topping out at three incidents. In 2016, with the addition of this week’s incidents., the city has experienced nine separate shooting incidents, six of which involved an injury or death.

Samuelson said there’s obviously a reason for this uptick in gun violence and that police are actively trying to determine that cause.

Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to contact the Jamestown Police Department at 483-7537. An anonymous tip can be left at 483-8477 or on the department’s Facebook page with the tip link.