Photo by: Scott Olson/Getty Images
A mass shooting occurred at the Tops Supermarket on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, NY, on Saturday, May 14th, leaving ten people dead and three more injured. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime by law police.
The shooting, confirmed by police as a racially motivated attack, shocked a community enjoying a bright May afternoon, including crowds of shoppers at the Tops in a primarily Black area.
Shonnell Harris, an operation manager at the Tops grocery store, told The Buffalo News, “it’s the weekend, so it was packed.”
Harris claimed she dashed out of the store when she heard gunfire, falling many times before fleeing through the rear. She described the shooter as a white man dressed in camouflage.
She commented, “He looked like he was in the army.” She believed she had heard 70 rounds of gunfire.
As more details emerge from this devastating event, this is what we know about the deceased victims. May their souls rest in Peace.
Celestine Chaney, 65
Celestine Chaney’s granddaughter told reporter Olivia Ugino of WBNS that her grandmother was killed in the incident. Chaney is the grandfather of six grandkids and a great-grandchild. She had also overcome cancer.
Deacon Heyward Patterson, 67
According to 7 News, Deacon Hayward Patterson, 68, was also slain in the mass shooting. He was shot in the parking lot of Tops while driving his pickup. His family describes the Deacon as a caring individual who leaves behind a wife and kids.
Pearly Young, 77
Pearl Young was a Buffalo Public Schools teacher born in Alabama but had lived in the city for many years. Two sons and a daughter survive her. “She was such a beautiful, sweet woman,” people who knew her told ABC News, “in shock and amazement” at her demise. Pearly ran a food pantry in the Central Park neighborhood for 25 years, feeding people every Saturday.
Roberta A. Drury, 32
Her sister described the 32-year-old as “vibrant and outgoing” and able to “speak to everyone.” After her elder brother’s leukemia was treated with a bone marrow donation, Drury moved to Buffalo in 2010. She assisted her brother, Christopher, in running The Dalmatia restaurant.
Ruth Whitfield, 86
The 86-year-old was one of the victims of the shooting, according to her son Garnell Whitfield, who spoke with 2 On Your Side’s Claudine Ewing on Saturday evening. Ruth Whitfield stopped at the supermarket for a bite to eat on her way home from visiting her husband in a nursing facility.
Aaron Salter, 55
A retired Buffalo Police officer who worked as a security guard at the store was among those killed. The 55-year-old opened fire on the gunman. However, he was shot and killed. Salter was a “hero in our eyes,” according to Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.
Katherine Massey, 72
According to the Associated Press, shopper Katherine Massey was also slain, and her sister, Barbara Massey, described the 72-year-old victim as “a beautiful person.” Massey previously worked as a reporter for the Buffalo News. According to her family, Massey took care of everything, and she was fantastic, according to WBNS reporter Olivia Ugino.
Andre Mackneil, 53
Mackneil, in addition to the others, was killed in the incident, according to authorities. The 53-year-old victim was born and raised in Auburn, New York.
Geraldine Talley, 62
Geraldine Talley of Buffalo was another of the shooting victims, according to Buffalo Police.
Margus Morrison, 52
According to his children’s mother, the 52-year-old and father-of-three was killed in the attack.
Three people were injured in the mass shooting, according to Buffalo Police: Zaire Goodman, 20, from Buffalo; a 50-year-old from Tonawanda, New York; and a 55-year-old from Lackawanna, New York.
They were all taken to ECMC, according to officials.
According to authorities, Goodman and the 50-year-old were treated and released from the hospital.
According to WGRZ, eleven of the victims were African American. Two victims were white. Four were store employees. Two of the three injured victims were treated and released from the hospital.
The victims we lost, along with those recovering, remain in our thoughts and prayers.