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Unsolved: Murdered Buffalo man had dreams of becoming a rapper

'It's a hurting thing to have to bury your child before you. That hurts,' John Harris said.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — John Harris lives on May Street in Buffalo. Each time the 70-year-old he walks out of his home, he is reminded of what happened to his son 16 years ago.

"It's a hurting thing to have to bury your child before you. That hurts," Harris said. 

His son 20-year-old, Amir Harris, was killed on May Street just a few doors down from where he lives. 

Reflecting, Harris said he was never more proud of his son than when he graduated from high school. He said he took many photos throughout the ceremony. 

"At the end of everything, he walked up on me and said, 'Dad, do you know how much you embarrassed me?' I said, 'Do you know how much you made me proud, to walk across that stage and get that diploma?' " Harris said.

In 2003, 20-year-old Amir Harris couldn't wait to turn 21. He was an aspiring rapper who was looking to get into the roofing business.

On June 18, Harris got the news that he had been killed.

Credit: WGRZ

"On my way coming from the store, driving down the street, my neighbor came out and flagged me down. Nina told me that my son had been shot, and I said, 'Where?' And she said, 'May Street.' "

Harris said Amir and one of his friends were shot. Amir was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he later died.

Harris believes he knows who may have pulled the trigger but said there weren't witnesses or significant evidence. He said jealousy may have been a factor.

"My son, when he approached me three years prior to that and told me about his friend being jealous and envious of him, I said, 'Why?' He said, 'Dad, because I have a dad and a mom, and we own our own home,' " Harris recalled.

No one has been charged with Amir's murder, and Harris says no one is talking. 

He told 2 On Your Side he hopes law enforcement can do more to protect people who come forward with information to encourage more people to do so.

If you have any information about this case you are asked to contact the Buffalo Police confidential tip line 847-2255.

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