Riccardo McCray was charged with four counts of second-degree murder in the shooting outside a downtown restaurant, Mayor Byron Brown said in a news release. He was expected to be arraigned Thursday.
McCray, 23, surrendered Wednesday at a television studio. He was accompanied by community activist Darnell Jackson, who told The Associated Press that McCray's family and friends had contacted him and asked him to intervene.
Jackson said he persuaded McCray to turn himself in at the WIVB studio rather than run from police investigating the deadly Aug. 14 shooting. Jackson, who doesn't know McCray personally, said McCray told him he didn't kill anyone and didn't know why police were looking for him.
"He said he was innocent," Jackson told The Buffalo News newspaper. "He wasn't worried about anyone on the street doing anything to him because he didn't do anything."
McCray's lawyer, Terrence McKelvey, didn't immediately return phone calls seeking comment Wednesday.
A crowd filled the sidewalk outside the City Grill at 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 14 when a gunman opened fire, killing an Austin, Texas, man celebrating his first wedding anniversary and three other people. The restaurant's managers, reacting to a dispute, had decided to close early and had told patrons to leave. One witness said about 200 people crowded onto the sidewalk, some trying to quell a shoving match in the parking lot.
Some of the victims were part of a group that was attending a party at the restaurant before the Texas couple's anniversary celebration. Killed were Danyell Mackin, 30; Tiffany Wilhite, 32; Shawntia McNeil, 27; and Willie McCaa, 26. Three survivors have been released from hospitals; another remains in critical condition.
Mackin had returned to Buffalo with his wife from their home in Texas to celebrate their year-old marriage. His wife was not injured.
A parolee, a friend of one of the injured, was arrested within hours of the shootings and was charged with four counts of murder, but the charges were dismissed the next day after witnesses began calling to say police had the wrong man.
At a news conference Wednesday evening, police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said McCray was the only suspect and "we believe we have a very solid case." He asked that the media not publish pictures of the suspect and said he couldn't comment on McCray's background or other aspects of the investigation.
In May 2009, McCray was arrested on charges of having a loaded rifle in his car. Officers alerted late at night to shots being fired at an intersection said they came upon McCray changing a flat tire, noticed several bullet holes in the rear and driver's side of the vehicle and then spotted the rifle on the front seat.