Modified: August 29, 2018 11:22am
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 25-year-old Kenyatta Austin of Buffalo has been arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice Paul B. Wojtaszek on an indictment charging him with two counts of intentional Murder in the Second Degree, two counts of depraved indifference Murder in the Second Degree, two counts of Assault in the Second Degree, one count of Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree.
It is alleged that on July 2, 2018, at approximately 12:30 a.m., the defendant fired shots at a group outside a home on Grape Street in the City of Buffalo. Yvette Johnson, who was celebrating her 54th birthday that evening, was fatally wounded. Her grandson, 17-month-old Kyrie Johnson, was also killed.
Two men survived the shooting. Both were treated at ECMC for gunshot wounds to their legs and were later released.
Austin was remanded without bail. If convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum of 64 years to life.
“All homicides are tragic, but this crime on Grape Street was particularly horrific. A woman, who was a steward of the community, lost her life in a senseless act of violence and the life of an innocent, little boy was cut short,” said DA Flynn. “I am committed to bringing justice to this family.”
DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Homicide Squad for their thorough investigative work, including Det. Michael Mordino, Det. Mary Evans, retired Det. Brendan Kiefer, Det. Sgt. William Cooley, Det. Antonio Borrelli, Det. Dawn Lopez and Det. Jason Mayhook. DA Flynn also acknowledges the Niagara Falls Police Department for their assistance in apprehending the suspect.
Finally, DA Flynn commends those who came forward with information on this crime and encourages anyone with additional information to contact the Erie County District Attorney’s Office or the Buffalo Police Department.
Colleen Curtin Gable, Chief of the DA’s Homicide Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Michael D. Smith are prosecuting the case.
As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.