thein a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, are a church deacon, a beloved security guard and the mother of a retired fire marshal. The victims represented a cross section of life in the predominantly black neighborhood.
They were shot by an 18-year-old white man who authorities say showed up at the store for the “express purpose” of killing black people. Governor Kathy Hochulan act of “white supremacist terrorism”. Three other people were injured in the attack.
All but one of those killed were over the age of 50, police said.
was a beloved community member and security guard who knew Tops Friendly Market shoppers by name. When they were attacked by a man armed with a rifle, he swung into action.
Salter, a retired Buffalo police officer, repeatedly shot the attacker, who was wearing a bulletproof vest. The aggressor was hit at least once but the bullet did not pierce his vest. Salter, 55, was shot and killed.
“He is a true hero, and we don’t know what he prevented. There could have been more casualties without his actions. He has been retired for several years. He is a beloved member and a Tops employee here, he works security and he fought,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Sunday. “We are sure he saved lives yesterday.”
Yvette Mack remembered Salter, the security guard, as someone who cared about the community, looked after the store, and “let us know whether we were right or wrong”.
Mack would go to the store to play lottery numbers and shop. She said she spoke to Salter shortly before the shooting.
“I was playing my numbers. He said ‘I see you’re playing your numbers!’ I laughed. And he was also playing his numbers. Can you imagine seeing someone, and you don’t know they’re not going to come home?” she said.
Andre Mackneil, 53, of Auburn, New York, was in town visiting relatives and picking up a surprise birthday cake for his grandson.
“He never went out with the cake,” Clarissa Alston-McCutcheon said of her cousin. She said that kind of surprise was typical for him. He was “just a loving, caring guy. He loved his family. He was always there for his family.”
Ruth Whitfield was the 86-year-old mother of retired Buffalo Fire Marshal Garnell Whitfield. According to the family lawyer“the beloved wife, mother and grandmother was her husband’s primary caretaker and had been returning to visit him in a nursing home when she was killed in the shooting.”
“She didn’t answer her phone. And the nursing home is a few blocks from the stage here. Since she wasn’t answering her phone, [I] just walked to the scene here and was able to make sure his vehicle was in the parking lot here at the store,” Garnell Whitfield told “CBS Mornings” on Monday.
When asked how his family was dealing with the news, Garnell replied, “It’s very difficult. It’s just surreal. We’re in a place where we never expected to be. My mother was the glue that held us together. held us together.”
Pearl Young, 77, had been a member of the Good Samaritan Church of God in Christ for more than 50 years, WIVB-TV reports.
James Pennington described her as someone who liked to be happy and liked to make others happy.
“She was just a family person,” Pennington said. “It was impossible to have a bad day with her.
“She was the best, man. She really was the best,” he added. “So I just hope people celebrate her.”
Roberta Drury had recently returned home to live with her mother, Dezzelynn McDuffie, who told The Buffalo News that the 32-year-old – the youngest of those killed – went to Tops to shop on Saturday after- noon. Soon, McDuffie saw gruesome videos circulating on social media that appeared to show the shooter shooting his daughter just outside the store.
She had recently helped her brother recover from a bone marrow transplant, WIVB-TV reported.
Katherine Massey was 72 years old. His sister, Barbara Massey, called him “a beautiful soul”.
Heyward Patterson, 67, was a deacon at a nearby church. He had passed by the church soup kitchen before heading to the supermarket, where he offered an informal taxi service taking people home with their bags.
“My understanding is he was helping someone put groceries in his car when he was shot and killed,” said Pastor Russell Bell of the State Tabernacle Church of God in Christ.
Bell said Patterson would clean up the church and do whatever was necessary.
“He would meet my wife and I at the door and escort us to the office. We never demanded it or asked to do it. He just did it out of love,” Bell said.
Services continued as usual on Sunday, but it was difficult.
“It was quite a struggle, we had to get through it and our hearts are broken,” he said. “Deacon Patterson was a man who loved people. He loved the community as much as he loved the church,” he said.
Celeste Chaney, 65, was a breast cancer survivor, prompting her family to ask people to wear pink ribbons in her honor, WIVB reported. She went shopping twice a month with her only son, Wayne Jones.
“No matter what’s going on with your parents,” Jones said, “you might argue or fight. Just take your time. You never know when they’re going to leave.”
Margus D. Morrison
Margus Morrison was 52 years old and originally from Buffalo.
Geraldine Talley was 62 years old and was from Buffalo.
Update: This story has been updated to correct the names of one of the victims.