Buffalo supermarket shooting: What’s known about the victims
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Ten people were shot and killed Saturday after an 18-year-old White gunman entered a Buffalo supermarket and opened fire, authorities said.
Authorities said the gunman shot, in total, 11 Black people and two White people Saturday in a rampage motivated by racial hatred that he broadcast live. The shooter, identified as Payton Gendron, had previously threatened a shooting at his high school last June, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.
Among the dead was security guard Aaron Salter — a retired Buffalo police officer — who fired multiple shots at Gendron. A bullet hit the gunman’s armor, but had no effect. Gendron then killed Salter, before hunting more victims.
"He’s a true hero," Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Sunday. "There could have been more victims if not for his actions."
Salter "cared about the community. He looked after the store," local resident Yvette Mack said. She remembered him as someone who "let us know if we was right or wrong."
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Also killed was Ruth Whitfield, 86, the mother of retired Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told churchgoers that he saw the former fire official at the shooting scene Saturday, looking for his mother.
"My mother had just gone to see my father, as she does every day, in the nursing home and stopped at the Tops to buy just a few groceries. And nobody has heard from her," Whitfield told the mayor then. She was confirmed as a victim later in the day, Brown said.
Also killed was shopper Katherine Massey, whose sister, Barbara Massey, called her "a beautiful soul," and Haywood Patterson, who worked as a driver, giving people rides to and from Tops and helping them with groceries.
Patterson was loading an elderly woman’s groceries into his car when he was killed, friend Tony Sanders told The Buffalo News. Sanders said Patterson’s first name was Heyward, although a church bulletin listed him as Haywood. Sanders said Patterson was a deacon in his church and "my best friend."
"From what I understand, he was assisting somebody putting their groceries in their car when he was shot and killed," said Pastor Russell Bell of State Tabernacle Church of God in Christ.
Bell said Patterson would clean the church and do anything else that was needed.
"He would meet my wife and I at the door and escort us to the office. We never required him or asked him to do it. He just did it out of love," Bell said.
Zaire Goodman, 20, was among the wounded, having been shot in the neck, State Sen. Tim Kennedy told a church service on Sunday. Goodman is the son of a staffer for Kennedy.
"I’m devastated. I’m angry," Kennedy said, adding that Goodman was recovering. "And I’m thinking about the families who won’t welcome a loved one home tonight."
Roberta Drury had recently returned home to live with her mother, Dezzelynn McDuffie, who told The Buffalo News that the 32 year old had walked to Tops to pick up some groceries Saturday afternoon. Soon, McDuffie saw horrifying videos circulating on social media that appeared to show the gunman shooting her daughter just outside the store."
WGRZ said 77-year-old Pearly Young was also killed while shopping for groceries. "She loved singing, dancing, & being with family," the outlet reported. "Young ran a food pantry in the Central Park neighborhood for 25 years, feeding people every Saturday."
Many people are posting tributes to the victims online.
"Praying for and with our Buffalo community," the Buffalo Bills tweeted. "Our hearts are with the victims, their families and friends.
Speaking at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial service at the U.S. Capitol, President Joe Biden said, "We must all work together to address the hate that remains a stain on the soul of America." The White House later announced that the president and first lady would travel to Buffalo on Tuesday to "grieve with the community."
This is a developing story. Check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed.