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A Buffalo man who admitted firing the bullet that killed one of his best friends last September apologized in court Tuesday to his victim’s family before being sentenced to 20 years in prison.

“I do take responsibility for everything I’ve done,” John W. Carney told Erie County Judge Michael Pietruszka.

In brief remarks to the judge, Carney called the shootings of Jeremy Lott, 23, and Lareecea Love, 26, on Sept. 23 “a crazy act that happened.”

Lott was killed, and his cousin, Love, was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to her right thigh.

Homicide prosecutor Gary Hackbush of the Erie County District Attorney’s Office said the crime “was a heinous act that took the life of an innocent man, who was one of [the defendant’s] very good friends.”

Several of Lott’s family members attended the sentencing but did not make a victim impact statement. Afterward, a few of them hugged and sobbed in the hallway outside the courtroom.

Lott and Carney had been friends since they were 7 or 8, said Aaron Lott, the victim’s father. “They would hang together every day,” he said.

Only a few weeks before the shooting, Jeremy Lott supported a grieving Carney at his grandfather’s funeral, he added.

Jeremy Lott detailed cars and was enrolled at Erie Community College at the time of the killing, his father said.

The friends went out together that night and did not have a dispute, according to Aaron Lott.

But the night of the shooting, Carney apparently had combined alcohol and drugs, said Lott, who talked with witnesses.

“He came behind him and shot him in the back,” Lott said. “The explanation they gave me is he had so many drugs in his system he didn’t even remember doing it the next day.”

“I wanted to see if he would apologize for what he did. That’s why I came,” Lott said. “I guess he was sincere."

email: jtokasz@buffnews.com