John Carney may have received a dose of street justice before police charged him with fatally shooting his best friend outside a Fillmore Avenue bar early Sunday.
Carney, 22, of Buffalo, was picked up by police hiding behind a vacant house shortly after Jeremy Lott, 23, of Buffalo, was killed outside Lee's Lounge about 2:15 a.m., Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said Tuesday.
Homicide detectives lacked enough evidence to hold Carney after he refused to give a statement and requested an attorney, Derenda said.
Then two witnesses came forward and identified Carney as the alleged killer, and police began a search that took them to Erie County Medical Center, where he was receiving treatment for a minor gunshot wound to the arm.
Police said they believe acquaintances of Lott sought to punish Carney by shooting him.
On top of that, Derenda said Carney might have made a mistake when he shot Lott and a female companion, Lareecea Love, 26, who were standing outside the tavern on the 1200 block of Fillmore smoking cigarettes.
"We don't know if Jeremy Lott was the intended victim," Derenda said. "Apparently, Carney was trying to shoot someone else. There had been an argument in the bar, and he left and came back with a gun."
Love, a Buffalo resident, was released Tuesday from ECMC, where she was hospitalized for treatment of a gunshot wound to the right thigh.
Mayor Byron W. Brown, at a news conference to announce the arrest, urged young people to avoid taking up firearms.
"No good can come from young people with guns in their hands," Brown said. "This is a senseless tragedy involving good friends. My sympathy goes out to the families involved, and again I implore our young people to put down the guns."
Police recovered the 9 mm handgun Carney allegedly used in the shooting.
He was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault by Detectives Mary Gugliuzza, Michael Mordino and Richard Wagstaff.
In the last week in the Ferry-Fillmore District where the slaying occurred, police have made five arrests involving criminal possession of guns, including a loaded AK-47 rifle.
Lott is the 35th homicide victim in the city this year.