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Suspected N.Y. shooter asserts innocence

Associated Press / August 27, 2010

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BUFFALO — The high school dropout accused of fatally shooting four people outside a downtown bar insists he has never fired a gun in his life, despite past weapons charges, his lawyer said yesterday.

Riccardo McCray, looking solemn and surrounded by guards, pleaded not guilty to four counts of second-degree murder, a day after he surrendered to authorities at a local TV station.

Relatives and friends had heard police were looking for him and asked a community activist to persuade him to turn himself in rather than run, said the activist, Darnell Jackson.

McCray, 23, is accused of opening fire outside the City Grill early Aug. 14. Four people were killed and four wounded.

Prosecutor James Bargnesi said the case was headed to a grand jury. “We expect this to be a continually evolving investigation,’’ he said.

McCray, who was in special-education programs before quitting school, appeared shocked that anyone believes he is the gunman, his lawyer said.

“He comes across as very soft-spoken, easygoing, with a kind of deer-in-the headlights appearance,’’ attorney Terrence McKelvey said. “He even went so far as to say, ‘Look, I’ll take a lie detector test. I’ve never shot a gun in my life.’ ’’

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