Schenectady Man Found Guilty of Fatal Shooting Near Vibez Bar & Lounge

Schenectady Man Found Guilty of Fatal Shooting Near Vibez Bar & Lounge

In a somber turn of events, Markeith Buchanan, a Schenectady resident, has been convicted of first-degree manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of 24-year-old John Bass outside Vibez Bar & Lounge on State Street in 2021.

The case, marked by a history of friendship turned violent, resulted in Buchanan also being convicted of criminal possession of a weapon while facing an acquittal of a second-degree murder charge.

On July 1, 2021, a dispute between Buchanan and the victim, John Bass, escalated outside the popular Vibez Bar & Lounge. The two, who had known each other since middle school, engaged in a physical altercation where Bass reportedly punched and knocked down Buchanan.

The altercation took a tragic turn as Buchanan, recovering from the assault, retrieved a firearm from his car and approached the bar where the two engaged in a verbal exchange. In a fateful moment, Buchanan fired a single shot that struck Bass, resulting in fatal injuries.

The Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office revealed that the bullet first struck Bass in his right arm, traversing through his torso, causing severe damage to vital organs, and ultimately lodging in his left arm. Despite prompt medical attention, Bass succumbed to his injuries upon arrival at the hospital.

Following the shooting, Buchanan fled the scene, successfully evading law enforcement for two months. During this period, he took measures to elude authorities, spending nights in hotels across different counties, changing his phone number, and abstaining from social media use. Buchanan’s evasion came to an end on September 20, 2022, when he was apprehended in Schenectady.

Schenectady Man Found Guilty of Fatal Shooting Near Vibez Bar & Lounge

At the trial, Buchanan testified that he disposed of the gun in the Hudson River and claimed he had no intention to shoot or kill Bass. However, the jury reached a verdict, finding Buchanan culpable for manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon.

District Attorney Robert Carney expressed satisfaction with the jury’s decision, stating that Buchanan’s retrieval of an illegal firearm after a physical altercation demonstrated a lack of legal justification for his actions.

As the legal proceedings unfold, Markeith Buchanan now faces the potential of eight to 25 years in prison for the manslaughter charge and five to 15 years for each criminal possession of a weapon charge. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 30, casting a shadow over Buchanan’s future.

The conviction of Markeith Buchanan for manslaughter in the fatal shooting outside Vibez Bar & Lounge serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of escalating conflicts and resorting to violence. The tragedy not only ended the life of John Bass but has irrevocably altered the trajectory of Buchanan’s life.

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As the community grapples with the aftermath of this senseless act, the forthcoming sentencing will bring a measure of closure to a chapter marked by tragedy and loss.

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