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

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Binghamton Police are ramping up efforts after two recent homicides that have happened in the City.

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

On April 22nd, 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 are continuing to investigate the incidents, which they believe are 'gang-related', but aren't going so far as to say there is an 'all-out' gang war in Binghamton.

Mayor David says Binghamton Police plan to use more patrols, increase resources to police units, as well as using other 'non-publicized' measures.

Chief Zikuski is asking residents to take caution, and to report anything suspicious.

"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 details on the incidents.

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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