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Submitted by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced 38-year-old Damien A. Morris of Buffalo was sentenced this morning before Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan to 5 years in prison followed by 2½ years of post-release supervision.
On Feb. 13, 2022, at approximately 5:15 a.m., the defendant exited his apartment on Tonawanda Street in the City of Buffalo to confront the victim in the parking lot. The defendant suspected that the victim was breaking into vehicles. During the encounter, the defendant shot the victim once with his legally owned handgun. The evidence presented at trial showed that the victim, who was not known to the defendant, was not armed with any weapons during the incident.
The victim, a 49-year-old homeless man, was taken by ambulance to ECMC to be treated for a gunshot wound to his left leg. The victim was hospitalized for two weeks and underwent surgery for a fractured femur.
A jury found Morris guilty of one count of assault in the first degree (class “B” violent felony), and one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree (class “C” violent felony) on Dec. 2, 2022. Jurors rendered their verdict after one hour of deliberation, following a 2½ day trial, convicting the defendant of all counts in the indictment against him.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rebecca L. Schnirel of the homicide unit, and Assistant District Attorney Thomas J. Comfort of the felony trials bureau.