Sight Magazine – Guard “Heroes”, buyers among the victims of the shootings in Buffalo in the United States

Buffalo, New York

Aaron Salter was a beloved community member and security guard who knew Tops Friendly Market shoppers by name. When they were attacked by a man with a gun, he quickly sprang into action to protect his community.

The retired Buffalo police officer shot the assailant multiple times, hitting his armored vest at least once. The bullet did not penetrate and Salter was shot and killed.

“He’s a real hero,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Sunday. “There could have been more victims without his actions.”

People gather outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on Sunday, May 15. PHOTO: AP Photo/Matt Rourke.

Salter was one of 10 killed in an attack whose victims represented a cross section of life in the predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. They were shot by a white man who authorities say showed up at the store for the “express purpose” of killing black people. Three others were injured.

Salter, who was black, “cared about the community. He took care of the store,” said local resident Yvette Mack. She remembered him as someone who “let us know if 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 playing your numbers!’ I laughed. And he also played his numbers. Can you imagine seeing someone, and you don’t know they’re not going home? ” she says.

The people Salter tried to protect include a man who 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. She had just been visiting her husband at a nursing home, as she did every day, when she stopped in Tops to buy some groceries and was killed, her son told The Buffalo News.

Ruth Whitfield was “a mother to orphans” and “a blessing to all of us”, her son said. He attributed his strength and commitment to his family to his strong religious faith.

“She inspired me to be a man of God and to do whatever I do the best that I could. I couldn’t have done it without her,” Garnell Whitfield said.

Shooting at Buffalo in the United States2

A man reads scripture at the site of a memorial honoring victims of Saturday’s shooting, Sunday, May 15, in Buffalo, New York. PHOTO: AP Photo/Joshua Bessex.

Roberta Drury had recently returned home to live with her mother, Dezzelynn McDuffie, who said The Buffalo News that the 32-year-old had traveled to Tops to do his shopping on Saturday afternoon. Soon, McDuffie saw gruesome videos circulating on social media that appeared to show the shooter shooting his daughter just outside the store.

Customer Katherine Massey, whose sister, Barbara Massey, called her “a beautiful soul”, was also killed, and Haywood Patterson, who worked as a driver, taking people to and from Tops and helping them make the grocery store.

Patterson was loading an elderly woman’s groceries into his car when he was killed, friend Tony Sanders says 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 at his church and “my best friend.”

Zaire Goodman, 20, was among those injured, having been shot in the neck, Sen. Tim Kennedy said at a church service on Sunday. Goodman is the son of a Kennedy staffer.

“I’m devastated. I’m angry,” Kennedy said, adding that Goodman was recovering. “And I’m thinking of the families who won’t be welcoming a loved one tonight.”

Comments are closed.