Teen shot to death in Niagara Falls

Photo by RobShotsNiagara Falls police investigate the scene of a fatal shooting incident at 19th Street and Welch Avenue early Tuesday afternoon.

NIAGARA FALLS — A teen is dead in what family members say may have been a dispute over drugs.

Niagara Falls police responded to a call about a shooting on the 1700 block of Welch Avenue at 1:38 p.m. Tuesday. When they arrived they found a black sedan parked at the curb with blood on the passenger seat.

The occupant of the passenger seat, John Bruso, 18, had already been taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center by a family member. He was pronounced dead at the hospital a brief time later.

Bruso was reportedly shot multiple times in the back. Witnesses said a gunman approached Bruso's car, opened the door and began firing.

Sources said Bruso had indicated, prior to the shooting, that he "owed a lot of money" to someone. The debt was reportedly linked to drug sales. 

Shortly after the shooting, patrol officers stopped a man at Cudaback Avenue and 22nd Street but later released him from custody.

Detectives also searched an apartment complex at 19th Street and Cudaback Avenue. Investigators were seen leaving that scene with a pair of bright red sneakers.

Crime Scene Unit detectives towed Russo's car to police headquarters to continue their forensic examination of the vehicle.

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