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Submitted by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 28-year-old Nakeem D. Haynes of Buffalo pleaded guilty yesterday morning before State Supreme Court Justice Debra Givens to one count of murder in the second degree, two counts of attempted murder in the first degree (class “A-I” felonies), and one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree (class “C” violent felony). The defendant pleaded guilty to all counts in the indictment against him.
On Friday, June 17, 2022, at approximately 7:18 p.m., the defendant intentionally shot the victim with an illegal gun in the vicinity of Broadway Avenue and Sears Street in the City of Buffalo. The victim, 63-year-old Atlas Johnson, died at the scene.
The homicide occurred while Buffalo police officers were on routine patrol in the area. As the officers pursued the defendant in their patrol vehicle, the defendant intentionally fired a shot into the windshield, which hit one of the officer’s gun holster. The defendant continued to fire shots at the officers as they chased after him on foot. The defendant was subsequently shot by police officers who detained him on Playter Street. The officers provided first aid until the defendant was transported by ambulance to ECMC. He was hospitalized for a few days for an injury to his torso.
Haynes faces a maximum sentence of 80 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on Monday, March 27, 2023, at 2 p.m. He continues to be held without bail.
DA Flynn commends officer Jake Michienzi and officer Hao Tran of the Buffalo Police Department for their work in this investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Chief John P. Feroleto of the major crimes unit and Assistant District Attorney Brendan W. Fitzgerald of the felony trials bureau.