Retired cop among 10 killed in Buffalo shooting

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – The mass shooting at Tops Markets on the east side of Buffalo on Saturday afternoon claimed the lives of 10 people and injured three others.

Information on victims is limited. However, authorities have confirmed that Aaron Salter, a retired Buffalo police officer working as a security guard, was killed trying to protect people inside the grocery store.

When the shooter, 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron of Conklin, New York, entered the store, Salter shot him several times, but Gendron’s armor deflected the bullets. Gendron then shot and killed Salter.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia hailed Salter as “a hero in our eyes.”

“I had the pleasure of knowing him, a great guy, very respected, very well liked. It’s just awful. It’s tragic. I don’t know what other words to describe it,” said the president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, John Evans.

Evans said the Buffalo Police Department contacted Salter’s family to offer their condolences.

Ruth Whitfield, 86, the mother of retired Buffalo Fire Marshal Garnell Whitfield, who told the Buffalo News that her “mother was a mother to orphans,” was also killed.

“She has been a blessing to all of us,” he added.

Katherine Massey, who had gone to the store to do some shopping, was also killed, according to the newspaper.

A worker in New York State Senator Tim Kennedy’s office, Zeneta Everhart, said her son Zaire was inside the store when the attack took place. He survived with non-life-threatening injuries and is resting at home.

Everhart said her son “is truly divinely protected.” kennedy called filming “a hate crime and an act of terrorism against our community”.

It was not immediately clear why Gendron had traveled about 200 miles from Conklin to Buffalo and this particular grocery store, located in a predominantly black neighborhood, but screenshots claiming to be from a Twitch broadcast appear to show a racial epithet scribbled on the rifle used in the attack, as well as the number 14, a likely reference to a white supremacist slogan.

At the previous press conference, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the shooting a hate crime.

“It was pure evil. It was (a) a racially motivated hate crime by someone outside of our community, outside of the city of good neighbors… coming into our community and trying to inflict this harm on us,” Garcia said. .

Twitch said in a statement that it ended Gendron’s broadcast “less than two minutes after the violence began.”

The massacre sent shockwaves through a volatile nation plagued by racial tensions, gun violence and a wave of hate crimes. The day before the shooting, Dallas police said they were investigating a series of shootings in Koreatown as hate crimes. The Buffalo attack came just a month after another mass shooting on a Brooklyn subway train injured 10 people and just over a year after a mass shooting at a Colorado supermarket in killed 10.

Gendron, confronted by police in the vestibule of the store, put a gun to his neck but was convinced to drop it. He was arraigned later on Saturday for murder, appearing before a paper-robed judge.

Gendron’s name matches the name given in a 180-page manifesto that surfaced online shortly after the attack and claimed violence in the name of white supremacy.

Buffalo police declined to comment on the document, widely circulated online, which purports to describe the attacker’s racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic beliefs, including a desire to drive all non-Europeans out of the United States. United. He said he was inspired by the man who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.

Members of the FBI and local law enforcement were seen at Gendron’s parents’ home on Saturday evening.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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