BUFFALO, NY-- A man has been arrested in connection with a homicide on Buffalo's East Side from last summer.
Buffalo Police arrested Jaylin Wiggins, 18, in connection with a shooting on Sherman Street on August 4, 2016. He is charged with murder in the second degree and two counts of attempted murder.
Leron Watkins, 21, died in that shooting. Two other people were injured.
Channel 2 talked with the victim's father last year about his unique idea to try and get the information that might solve it. He sent balloons up in the air with his son's picture and police information attached.
Now, this dad is getting the answers he's been waiting for; Larry Watkins got the call he wasn't sure he'd ever get.
“It was somewhat of a feeling of relief and happiness that they made an arrest and charged somebody with the murder of my son,” Larry Watkins said.
For more than half a year, it was a cold case. Now, Watkins says this arrest is a step toward closure, but not completely. He believes strongly that Wiggins is not the only person who had a part in Leron’s death. As Watkins puts it, the streets are always talking, but no one ever comes forward.
“If they was my son's friends, what took them so long?" said Watkins. "I'm hoping that the arrest of him brings out everybody else.”
That's why last year, he and his family released hundreds of balloons with information on his son and the police tipline attached. The unique approach is what originally connected Channel 2 with Watkins' story.
"I mean, I don't know if they did help, and if they did, I'm glad I did what I did, and I hope that other families would do the same thing....and if that's what worked for me, it'll do the same for them,” Watkins said.
Police tell Watkins that surveillance video from a nearby school played a part in Wiggins' arrest. That, and good police work by a Detective Timothy Salamone, who Watkins said promised him last August he’d solve the crime.
"I just want to tell him, Salamone, thank you,” Watkins said.