Lewis Adams, the 16-year-old Riverside High school student gunned down execution-style outside his Black Rock home Friday, was described as a “good kid who was into sports and always smiling.”
“He didn’t get into any trouble,” said Graceann Adams, who had known her stepson since he was 4. “He grew up playing football,” she said Saturday. “I was not aware of his involvement in any criminal activity. He did not get into trouble.”
Adams was shot several times as he was about to enter a car near his Deer Street home, police said. The killer emerged from a black Pontiac, chased the teen toward Gladstone Street and fired repeatedly until he fell to the ground, Buffalo police said. Adams died at the scene.
The stepmother said the teenager leaves behind two younger siblings. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
At the murder scene Friday, Buffalo Police Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards, without elaborating, called Adams a “targeted individual.”
Police said the gunman, who was not alone, escaped in a car with two or three others – all wearing hooded sweatshirts. The car sped east on Hertel Avenue toward Elmwood Avenue, police said.
The fatal shooting is the second in less than a month in the Black Rock-Riverside neighborhood. At About 12:50 a.m. Nov. 10, Rashiene T. Carson, 24, of Lockport was fatally shot while in the back seat of a car parked at a gas station at 595 Ontario St.
The alleged gunman, Charles Tubbins, 23, of Kenmore Avenue was arraigned Friday on murder and robbery charges in the case.
Meanwhile, neighborhood activists said they have noticed an increase in suspicious activities – especially along Tonawanda Street.
“Our area seems to be seeing more drug dealings lately,” said Jackie Erckert-Dillon, a lifelong resident of the neighborhood. “Drive down Tonawanda Street any day of the week. Most people in the area can tell you right where the drug houses are.”
Erckert-Dillon, who noted that she is not surprised by the recent slayings, said she sees gangs of teens along Tonawanda Street.
Richard Mack is editor and publisher of the weekly Riverside Review. As co-chairman of the Black Rock Riverside Good Neighbors Planning Alliance, Mack said Tonawanda Street will undergo several improvements.
Plans include the placement of two additional crime-watch cameras in the area, according to Mack. He also pointed to the recently announced $20 million transformation of Riverside Academy (School 60) into 68 apartments, also preserving the school’s much-loved auditorium for community use. The Ontario Street school is just blocks from Tonawanda Street.
“We’re trying not to let it fall off the edge,” said Mack. “We’re trying to put a stop to it before it gets any worse.
“I hear stories all the time,” Mack said. “I live in the area, and I can say that I have never been threatened.”