Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Crime

February 9, 2013

ANNIVERSARY

Memories still fresh 10 years after shootout

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — • “It’s a nightmare that will never stop,” Seekins said.

The city’s snowy shootout started Feb. 8, 2003 shortly after 11 p.m. — a Saturday night at a busy Niagara Hotel at 58 North Transit St. — and ended at a Transit Road trailer park at 5 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 9.

Kanalley had fired his assault weapon at a man whose girlfriend Kanalley had once dated. He then fled. 

Seekins, who had just been promoted to Detective Lieutenant, was off-duty at 11 p.m., but everyone was summoned for the shooting call. Seekins’ role was to collect evidence. He took several pictures inside the establishment.  “The Niagara Hotel was all shot up inside. I was collecting bullet fragments and bullet casings,” he said. “There were people at all the tables and they never got shot.” 

Most of the city’s officers ended up going to the site of the rampage, but the whereabouts of the shooter was unknown. It was snowing and weather conditions deteriorated into the night.

It was learned later that Kanalley may have parked his Pontiac Sunfire at Wilson Farms a short block away, watching police perform their investigation and planning another assault. Seekins said, “In a post-interview with a witness, he considered coming back to the scene.” 

Transit Street, considered part of the crime scene, was closed.

After collecting evidence, Seekins returned to the police station, just around the corner from the Niagara Hotel, while detectives gathered information from the woman at the bar whose boyfriend had been targeted. They learned that Kanalley may have been on Wicks Road in Wrights Corners. State Police and Niagara County Sheriffs deputies joined in the manhunt, but the suspect wasn’t located at the Wrights Corners address.

Information was coming in from several sources. “It was frustrating because we were playing cat-and-mouse trying to catch up with him,” Seekins recalled. 

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