Boy, 12, killed by stray bul­let re­mem­bered as ea­ger, po­lite

Mayor, other lead­ers call on wit­nesses to aid po­lice

The Buffalo News - - FRONT PAGE - By Aaron Besecker and Harold McNeil

Hun­dreds gath­ered in a Lack­awanna mosque Mon­day to mourn the death of a 12-year-old boy.

Then po­lice, com­mu­nity lead­ers and city of­fi­cials took to the streets to plead for in­for­ma­tion about the peo­ple who are to blame for tak­ing his life.

In both places, less than 48 hours af­ter Badraldeen Mo­hamad El­waseem was shot in the head by a stray bul­let while watching tele­vi­sion in his fam­ily’s William Street apart­ment, an­swers re­mained elu­sive.

“Peo­ple are re­ally fed up and they want to see the per­son or per­sons re­spon­si­ble for this brought to jus­tice,” Mayor By­ron W. Brown said as he and oth­ers can­vassed the neigh­bor­hood.

Ear­lier Mon­day, mourn­ers packed Masjid Al Huda on Wilkesbarre Street in Lack­awanna for the child’s fu­neral. Badraldeen, who went by Badr, was re­mem­bered as an in­quis­i­tive stu­dent at School 45 by two of his teach­ers who at­tended his fu­neral.

Badr was “al­ways re­ally in­ter­ested in the out­side world,” said Casey Nowak, his so­cial stud­ies teacher.

He re­ally liked video games and got along with his class­mates, said Nowak.

Math teacher James Judge called Badr “an ea­ger learner” who was a po­lite and re­spected young man with a great sense of hu­mor.

The teach­ers said Badr started his ed­u­ca­tion at School 45 then went to a char­ter school for a few years be­fore

com­ing back to School 45 ear­lier this school year.

In ad­di­tion to fam­ily and friends, those gath­ered at the Lack­awanna mosque for the fu­neral in­cluded Buf­falo Mayor By­ron W. Brown, Com­mon Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Dar­ius G. Prid­gen, Mur­ray Hol­man of the Stop the Vi­o­lence Coali­tion and Buf­falo Po­lice Capt. Steven Nichols.

Bul­lets started flying just af­ter 8:30 p.m. Satur­day in the park­ing lot of the Towne Gar­dens shop­ping plaza at William Street and Jefferson Av­enue. The bul­let that stuck Badr flew about 100 yards from across William into Badr’s fam­ily’s apart­ment, lo­cated on the sec­ond-floor of a two-story build­ing on the cor­ner of William and Mor­timer streets.

A 22-year-old man, whose name has not been re­leased, also was wounded in the shoot­ing.

Dozens of shell cas­ings were found in the park­ing lot where the shoot­ing oc­curred, ac­cord­ing to a po­lice source.

Brown was in that lot Mon­day, chal­leng­ing res­i­dents to share what­ever they might know about shoot­ing.

“We are hop­ing that this walk – as we ap­peal to peo­ple in the Towne Gar­dens area in the City of Buf­falo for any in­for­ma­tion that will lead to an ar­rest and an in­dict­ment – will be suc­cess­ful to­day,” said Brown.

“We know that there are peo­ple that saw what hap­pened. We know that there are peo­ple who know the in­di­vid­ual or in­di­vid­u­als that fired the guns the other night that led to the killing of this pre­cious 12-year-old boy,” Brown added.

The mayor and Prid­gen were joined by Erie County Leg­is­la­tor Bar­bara Miller-Wil­liams, Po­lice Com­mis­sioner By­ron Lock­wood, other po­lice of­fi­cials and mem­bers of com­mu­nity peace groups, such as Buf­falo Peace­mak­ers, and clergy.

Those tak­ing part in the can­vass­ing left fly­ers with contact in­for­ma­tion at those homes and apart­ments where no one was home to an­swer the door Mon­day. Of­fi­cials high­lighted a $12,500 re­ward for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to an ar­rest or an in­dict­ment.

Po­lice have not said whether they be­lieve the shoot­ing may have been gang-re­lated. The shop­ping plaza where gun­fire erupted is next door to the Towne Gar­dens hous­ing com­plex, which fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors have said the CBL/BFL street gang used for its base of oper­a­tions. Au­thor­i­ties are of­fer­ing a re­ward of up to $12,500 for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the ar­rest of Badr’s killer. Po­lice ask any­one with in­for­ma­tion to text or call the Buf­falo Po­lice Depart­ment’s con­fi­den­tial tip line at 847-2255.

Tips may also be sent to Crime Stop­pers Buf­falo by call­ing 867-6161 or sub­mit­ting a tip through Crime Stop­pers’ “Buf­falo Tips” app.

The Rev. James Giles of Back to Ba­sics Out­reach Min­istry ac­knowl­edged that Mon­day’s ef­forts were not in­tended to get at the root is­sue of vi­o­lent crime in the com­mu­nity, but to find out who killed Badr.

“We just don’t want blood­shed in the streets, or war in the streets, be­cause you’re not go­ing to han­dle vi­o­lence with vi­o­lence,” he said.

Derek Gee/Buf­falo News

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