Modified: July 1, 2015 1:36pm
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that 27 year-old Keith McDonald of 281 Purdy Street in the City of Buffalo was convicted after a jury trial of Attempted Murder in the 1st Degree, Attempted Murder in the 2nd Degree, Attempted Robbery in the 1st Degree, Assault in the 1st Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio. These were the highest charges for which the defendant could have been convicted. In other words, McDonald was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and convicted as charged.
The conviction stems from a March 21, 2014 attempted robbery of Sneaker Town at 1307 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo, NY. McDonald disguised himself as a garbage collector and pretended to empty the garbage cans outside of the store. Shortly before 7:00PM, he entered Sneaker Town, pulled an assault rifle out of a garbage bag, and ordered everyone to the ground. The store manager, Shiaw Ye Pai – a Taiwanese immigrant – wrestled with McDonald and forced him out of the store. McDonald started to walk away but after a few steps, turned around, pointed the rifle at Pai, and shot him in the chest. Pai was rushed to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.
McDonald faces a maximum prison term of 25 years-to-life when he is sentenced before Judge DiTullio on May 28, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John P. Gerken, Jr., who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Tactical Prosecution Bureau and Felony Trial Bureau Chief Michael P. Felicetta.