Defendant Indicted for Hopkins Street Shooting and Possession of Illegal Gun Near Canadian Border

Modified: July 22, 2022 11:53am

7/22/2022

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 20-year-old David J. Smith of Buffalo was arraigned this morning before Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi on an indictment charging him with the following offenses:

  • One count of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree (Class “B” violent felony)
  • Two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Class “C” violent felonies)
  • One count of Assault in the Second Degree (Class “D” felony)

It is alleged that on Thursday, March 24, 2022, at approximately 6:35 p.m., U.S. Custom and Border Protection officers saw the defendant driving a vehicle the wrong way on Peace Place near the Peace Bridge. While conducting the traffic stop, border patrol agents allegedly saw a handgun in plain view on the floor of the backseat of the vehicle behind where the defendant was seated. Investigators allegedly recovered an illegal, loaded handgun and approximately $2,771.00 in cash from inside the vehicle. A box of ammunition was also allegedly found in the pocket of the defendant’s pants.

The defendant was initially arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Carrie Phillips on one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree on March 25, 2022. He was released after posting bail set at $10,000 cash, bond, property or partially secured bond.

It is further alleged that on May 31, 2022, at approximately 8:11 p.m., the defendant, with the intent to the cause the death of the victim, fired multiple shots from an illegal pistol into a store on the 300 block of Hopkins Street in the City of Buffalo. The victim was shot as the defendant allegedly fired through the glass door. The victim was taken by ambulance to ECMC where he was treated for injuries to his leg and foot.

The defendant was later arrested. He was initially arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Diane Wray on one count of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, one count of Assault in the Second Degree and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree on June 2, 2022. He was held without bail. 

Smith is scheduled to return on Monday, August 22, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. He continues to remain held without bail.

If convicted of the highest charge, Smith faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.  

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department for their work in this investigation.   

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John G. Schoemick of the Major Crimes Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Nicholas J. Marino of the Felony Trials Bureau.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.