Buffalo shooting: what we know about the victims so far
An 18-year-old white man opened fire at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket on Saturday, killing 10 people and wounding three others in what authorities have described as a “hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism”.
Eleven of the 13 victims were Black, and two were white.
Authorities said that the shooter, who is white, drove to Tops Friendly Market at about 2.30pm, “allegedly wearing tactical gear and armed with an assault weapon”. When the shooter arrived, he shot four people outside the grocery, three of whom died, local prosecutors said.
He then entered the supermarket, where a security guard, who had recently retired from the Buffalo police department, tried to stop him. The guard died in the exchange, and the shooter shot eight additional people inside the store, six of whom died, authorities said.
The attacker was arraigned on a first-degree murder charge hours later, authorities said. Here is what we know about the victims so far.
Salter, a retired Buffalo police lieutenant, was working as a security guard at Tops on Saturday when the shooter entered the grocery. Salter shot at the shooter in an effort to stop him, but was fatally wounded, according to WHIO TV.
“One of the individuals inside the store is a security guard, a beloved security guard, who is a retired Buffalo police officer – a hero in our eyes. He engaged the suspect and fired multiple shots,” Buffalo’s police commissioner, Joseph Gramaglia, reportedly said at a press conference.
Salter was 55, WHIO said.
The 86-year-old had just visited her husband at his nursing home when she decided to pick up food at Tops, WGRZ reported. Whitfield is the mother of Buffalo’s former fire commissioner, Garnell Whitfield. “She was a religious woman who cared deeply for her family,” her daughter-in-law, Cassietta Whitfield, told the New York Times. “She’ll be truly missed.”
Ruth Whitfield, a mother of four and grandmother of eight, called Buffalo home for more than 50 years. Cassietta Whitfield described her as a devout parishioner of the Durham Memorial AME Zion church. Ruth Whitfield sang in the choir, the Times reported.
The Buffalo News identified one of the victims as Katherine Massey, reporting that a family member confirmed her death. She went to Tops to buy groceries, the newspaper reported. Massey’s sister, Barbara Massey, said in a text to a reporter: “She was a beautiful soul.”
Betty Jean Grant, a former Erie county legislator, said that Massey, 72, was a civil rights and education advocate. Less than one year ago, Massey wrote a letter to the newspaper calling for more federal gun regulations. “There needs to be extensive federal action/legislation to address all aspects of the issue,” Massey wrote. “Current pursued remedies mainly inspired by mass killings – namely, universal background checks and banning assault weapons – essentially exclude the sources of our city’s gun problems. Illegal handguns, via out of state gun trafficking, are the primary culprits.”
The New York Times reported that Roberta Drury, 32, was among those killed at the Tops supermarket. Amanda Drury, her sister, told the newspaper that she was going to the store to buy supplies for dinner. “She was very vibrant,” Amanda Drury reportedly said. “She always was the center of attention and made the whole room smile and laugh.”
For 25 years, 77-year-old Pearly Young ran a food pantry in Buffalo’s Central Park neighborhood, WGRZ reported. The shooter killed Young as she was shopping for groceries. Young, who fed the needy every Saturday, was a “mother, grandmother, and missionary”, the news station said.
Patterson routinely gave people rides to the supermarket, and assisted them in carrying their groceries, the New York Times said. His great niece, Teniqua Clark, confirmed to the newspaper that he was fatally shot.
The family of Celestine Chaney has identified her as one of the 10 people killed, according to the New York Times. Chaney’s son, Wayne Jones, told the newspaper that his mother was visiting her sister. Chaney wanted strawberry shortcake, so they went to Tops for the ingredients. “She loved those,” he said. Chaney’s sister got to the freezer, “but my mom cannot really walk like she used to”, Jones reportedly said. “She basically can’t run.”
Geraldine Talley, 62, had come to shop with her fiance, according to ABC News. Talley was one of nine siblings and was “an amazing sister, mother, aunt”, her sister Kaye Chapman-Johnson told the TV network. “She just was truly an amazing woman. And I’m going to miss her dearly.” Her fiance survived the shooting after he went to shop in a different part of the store when the attack began.
Andre Mackneil was 53 years old and from the central New York city of Auburn. No others details have yet been made available.
Margus Morrison, 52, was a father of three from Buffalo, the mother of his children confirmed to TV station 7 News. No other details were immediately available.
Bekiempis, V. (2022, May 16). Buffalo shooting: what we know about the victims so far. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2022/may/15/buffalo-shooting-what-we-know-about-the-victims