Police: Recent Binghamton homicides believed to be 'gang-related'

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Binghamton Police are ramping up efforts after two recent city homicides.

Mayor Rich David and Police Chief Joe Zikuski addressed the incidents in a news conference on Monday afternoon.

On April 22, Brandon Hernandez, 22, of Binghamton was shot outside an after-hours club on Orton Avenue.

He died of his wounds and 26-year-old Jihad Ray, of Binghamton, was arrested and charged with 2nd degree murder on Friday.

Later Friday, 24-year-old Tyquan Gumbs, of Binghamton, was found shot dead in the rear of 10 Fayette Street around 8:30 p.m.

Police suspect the cases are 'gang-related', but stopped short of describing the situation as an 'all-out' gang war in Binghamton.

"We believe there are gangs involved here. We don't know the motives at this point. Ray was a member of the MacBallers, and it's our understanding that he got thrown out. The gang is an offset of The Bloods. We think there is some gang involvement here, but we don't think it's over drugs or turf or anything like that. We think there's another motive, but we're not sure of that," said Zikuski.

Zikuski says witnesses have been apprehensive to provide detail.

He says Binghamton Police are increasing patrols in neighborhoods and "hot spot" crime areas and will have more people monitoring cameras located around the City.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Binghamton Police at (607) 772-7080.

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