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Cheektowaga man admits to attempted assault, robbery in alleged gunfight

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Cheektowaga man pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon to attempted robbery and attempted assault in connection to a 2023 incident wherein multiple guns were fired, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

Just before 4 p.m. on May 1, 30-year-old Jaquail Yamani wore a face mask to enter a pawn shop in Cheektowaga and pawn a laptop and a Bluetooth speaker, officials said. Two other individuals wearing face masks entered the store while the victim was looking at the items, officials said.

The defendant allegedly displayed an illegal handgun and pointed it toward the victim’s head. Officials said the victim pushed the gun away and displayed his own licensed firearm. His co-worker was also in possession of a licensed firearm, they said.

An alleged gunfight ensued. Officials said the defendant fired the first shot before the victim and his co-worker fired back. Yamani and one of the unidentified suspects allegedly fired multiple shots at the victim before firing through the front window to escape.

The defendant sought medical treatment at a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania for a gunshot wound. The victims were not injured.

Yamani was linked to the crime through video surveillance, license plate readers, and the laptop that he abandoned at the scene, officials said.

Yamani was charged with the following:

two counts first-degree attempted robbery

first-degree attempted assault

second-degree criminal possession of a weapon

second-degree attempted robbery

He faces up to 15 years in prison.

Yamani is scheduled to be sentenced on August 9 and remains held without bail.

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Kayleigh Hunter-Gasperini joined the News 4 team in 2024 as a Digital Video Producer. She is a graduate of Chatham University.

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