Victims of Buffalo mass shooting include beloved guard, church deacon and mother of former fire commissioner: ‘This is just surreal’

The 10 mass shooting victims In a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, they meet a church deacon, a beloved security guard and the mother of a retired fire commissioner. The victims represented a cross-section of life in the predominantly black neighborhood.

They were shot and killed by an 18-year-old white man who authorities say showed up at the store with the “express purpose” of killing black people. Governor Kathy Hochul call it an act of “white supremacist terrorism”. Three other people were injured in the attack.

All but one of the people killed were in their 50s, according to police.

Aaron Salter

Aaron Salter


Aaron Salter he was a beloved community member and security guard who knew Tops Friendly Market shoppers by name. When they were attacked by a gunman with a rifle, he sprang into action.

Salter, a retired Buffalo police officer, fired several times at the shooter, who was wearing a bulletproof vest. The attacker was hit at least once, but the bullet did not go through his vest. Salter, 55, was shot to death.

“He is a true hero, and we don’t know what he prevented. There could have been more casualties were it not for his actions. He has been retired for several years. He has been a beloved member and employee of Tops here, working security and he went down fighting Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Sunday. “We are sure that he saved lives yesterday.”

Yvette Mack remembered Salter, the security guard, as someone who cared about the community, took care of the store and “let us know if we were right or wrong.”

Mack walked to the store to play lottery numbers and shop. She said that she spoke with 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 that he won’t go home? She said.

Andre Mackneil

Andre Mackneil, 53, of Auburn, New York, was in town visiting relatives and buying a surprise birthday cake for his grandson.

“He never dated the cake,” Clarissa Alston-McCutcheon said of her cousin. She said that this kind of surprise was typical of him. He was “just a loving, caring guy. He loved family. He was always there for his family.”

Ruth Whitfield

Ruth Whitfield

family photo

Ruth Whitfield was the 86-year-old mother of retired Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield. According to the family’s lawyer ben crumpthe “beloved wife, mother and grandmother was her husband’s primary caregiver and was returning to visit him in a nursing home when he was killed in the shooting.”

“She didn’t answer her phone. And the nursing home is just a few blocks from the scene here. By not answering her phone, [I] I just walked by 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 her family is processing this news, Garnell said: “It’s so hard. This is just surreal. We’re in a place we never expected to be. My mom was the glue that held us together.”

young pearl

young pearl


Pearl Young, 77, was 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 enjoyed being happy and enjoyed making other people happy.

“She was just a family person,” Pennington said. “It was impossible to have a bad day around her.

“She was the best, man. She was really the best,” he added. “So I just hope people celebrate it.”

Robert Drury

Roberta Drury, who was among those who lost their lives in the shooting at TOPS supermarket, is seen in this undated family photograph.
Robert Drury

AMANDA DRURY via Reuters

Roberta Drury had recently returned home to live with her mother, Dezzelynn McDuffie, who told The Buffalo News that the 32-year-old woman, the youngest of those killed, had walked to Tops to buy some groceries on Saturday night. afternoon. Soon, McDuffie saw horrific videos circulating on social media that appeared to show the gunman shooting his daughter just outside the store.

She had recently been helping her brother recover from a bone marrow transplant, WIVB-TV reported.

Katherine Massey

Victims of the shooting at the Buffalo supermarket
Katherine Massey

Robert Kirkham/AP

Catherine Massey was 72 years old. Her sister, Barbara Massey, called her “a beautiful soul.”

Heyward Patterson

Heyward Patterson, 67, was a deacon at a nearby church. He had stopped by the church soup kitchen before heading to the supermarket, where he ran an informal taxi service that took people home with their bags.

“From what I understand, he was helping someone put their groceries in their car when he was shot and killed,” said Pastor Russell Bell of the State Tabernacle Church of God in Christ.

Bell said that Patterson would clean the church and do whatever was necessary.

“He would meet my wife and me at the door and walk us into the office. We never demanded or asked him to do it. He just did it out of love,” Bell said.

Services continued as usual on Sunday, but it was difficult.

“It was a great fight, 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.

matchmaker chaney

Celeste Chaney, 65, is 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 could be arguing or fighting. Just take your time. You never know when they’re going to leave.”

Margus D. morrison

Margus Morrison was 52 years old and from Buffalo.

Geraldine Talley

Geraldine Talley was 62 years old and from Buffalo.

Buffalo supermarket shooting
A man reads Scripture at the site of a memorial honoring the victims of Saturday’s shooting on Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Buffalo, New York.

Joshua Bessex/AP

Update: This story has been updated to correct the names of one of the victims.

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