Former Buffalo Firefighter Sentenced for Fatally Shooting Victim During Dispute on Broadway

Modified: June 23, 2022 12:33pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 25-year-old Blake M. Banks of Buffalo was sentenced this morning before Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi to a determinate sentence of 23 years in prison followed by 5 years of post-release supervision.

On July 20, 2021, at approximately 1:00 p.m., the defendant and the victim, an auto mechanic, were involved in an argument over a vehicle repair. The victim, who was unarmed, was walking away when the defendant shot him in the back and the left foot on Broadway near Bennett Street in the City of Buffalo.

The victim, 40-year-old Jason Johnson, attempted to escape the attack by driving off in his vehicle, but crashed nearby moments later. He was taken by ambulance to ECMC where he died from his injuries.

Banks, a former Buffalo firefighter who was off-duty at the time of the crime, pleaded guilty to count of Manslaughter in the First Degree (Class “B” violent felony) on May 6, 2022.

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

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Eugene T. Partridge, III of the Homicide Bureau.