According to state police, a city of Buffalo employee was murdered and two others were injured Thursday when the city pickup truck they were in was hit numerous times by gunfire from a passing vehicle.
At 11:20 a.m., gunfire was reported in the southbound lanes of Interstate 190, approximately north of downtown Buffalo.
State police were looking for a dark-coloured Jeep Grand Cherokee suspected of being involved in the shooting and requested any motorists who may have been on the busy highway at the time to come forward with dashcam video.
“We have several leads that we are working on, but currently we do not have a motive for the shooting,” state police Maj. Eugene Staniszewski said at a news conference. “This is believed to be an isolated incident and we have no information that there is a threat ongoing to the community at this time.”
The victims were Buffalo Sewer Authority employees who had just completed a job when they were shot as they drove back to the Sewer Authority building, according to Mayor Byron Brown.
According to Brown, the driver of the pickup attempted to flee the shooting but was hit, as were the two passengers. The driver escaped safely.
“Who could have ever imagined that something like this would happen to three Sewer Authority employees as they are at work, doing the right thing, doing the people’s business?” Brown said after meeting with the victims’ relatives and co-workers. “This has to stop.”
On Thursday afternoon, one employee was in critical condition. The other had non-life-threatening injuries, according to Staniszewski.
In the hours following the incident, traffic in the southbound lanes was stopped, with one ambulance and many law enforcement cars on the road. Until around 3 p.m., traffic was redirected off the roadway, which runs north and south through Buffalo and Niagara Falls from the mainline New York State Thruway.
The employees’ names were not immediately revealed.