Officials have identified the murder victim in Tuesday's shooting in Dunkirk but not the alleged perpetrator, although they say that suspect is in custody.
Friday, the Dunkirk Police Department and Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office, along with an official from the New York State Police Department, held a morning news conference to provide information regarding the Deer Street shooting.
The victim was identified as Gabriel Guzman, 32, of Brooklyn who died Tuesday evening at Brooks Memorial Hospital from a single gunshot to his abdomen. Officials said Guzman has family in the local area.
OBSERVER Photo by Michael Rukavina
Chautauqua County District Attorney Dave Foley; Dunkirk Police Chief Dave Ortolano; Senior New York State Police Investigator Greg Holt (left) and Dunkirk Det. Lt. Rich Kaus reveal a few specific details regarding Tuesday night’s Deer Street shooting in the city.
"Within hours of the time of the call the Dunkirk Police Department and the Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office along with the assistance of the Fredonia Police Department, the Chautauqua County Forensic Investigation Team, New York State Police and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department began to piece together details of the investigation and by late evening the investigation was closing in on a suspect of interest," Dunkirk Police Chief Dave Ortolano said. "With the further assistance of the New York State Police Violent Felony Squad and the New York State Division of Parole, the suspect has been apprehended on a parole warrant and is currently in the custody of the Division of Parole."
The name of the suspect in custody, his parole charge, whether a weapon was found and if the situation involved drugs of any form were not commented on by authorities. Authorities say they know why the victim was in the area but would not disclose anything further.
"We are somewhat fortunate due to the fact that this (suspect) was on violation of parole and a parole warrant had been issued some time ago. It affords us the opportunity, from my office's perspective, to put this case together fully before we have to go forward and either charge this individual or put a case into a grand jury for their consideration," Foley said.
"Because it's still under investigation and because we have yet to put the case to a grand jury or charge the case, we are not releasing any details regarding the event."
According to Foley, no charges have been placed in relation to Tuesday's shooting, and tests on the single projectile found are being done to determine the caliber of gun used. At this time authorities don't believe any other individuals were involved.
As to why it took three days to release the name of the victim, Foley said, "I think you have to be mindful to notify the family. They have to be able to make arrangements and we don't necessarily want to be releasing names of situations when we're not even sure if it's a homicide," he said. "As of Tuesday night we suspected it was a homicide but of course we want to wait for at least the preliminary autopsy report to come in. As of Thursday, although we knew what it was, we decided to call the press conference Friday morning because it was just too late in the afternoon Thursday."
Ortolano said the investigation is continuing and anyone with information is encouraged to call the Dunkirk Police Department at 366-2266, 363-0163 (the confidential line) or the District Attorney's Office at 753-4241.
"Crimes of this type do not occur often in our community, but when they do we will work diligently to bring them to closure as quickly as possible to ensure public safety and restore rest to the community," he said.
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