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Former Buffalo firefighter pleads guilty to manslaughter

Blake M. Banks, 25, pleaded guilty Friday morning to one count of manslaughter in the first degree, a class B violent felony.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A former Buffalo firefighter has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for fatally shooting a 40-year-old man during a dispute last summer.

According to the Erie County District Attorney's Office, Blake M. Banks, 25, was off-duty when he shot Jason Johnson on July 20, 2021 during a dispute in the City of Buffalo. The incident happened on Broadway near Bennett Street.

The District Attorney's Office says after Johnson was shot, he tried to drive away but crashed his vehicle nearby a few minutes later. Johnson was taken to ECMC where he later died.

Banks pleaded guilty Friday morning to one count of manslaughter in the first degree, a class B violent felony.

According to the District Attorney's Office, Banks continues to remain held without bail and will be sentenced on June 23. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

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