A crowd gathers as police investigate after a shooting at Tops Market in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday. Joshua Bessex/AP
Buffalo, NY – Saturday, May 14, 2022, seemed like a regular day to the patrons that made their way to Tops Friendly Market to shop for groceries. They could never have imagined the violence and hatred that was about to unfold.
18-year-old Payton Gendron, inspired by racism and hate, showed up at the store around 2:30 pm, armed with an assault rifle and dressed in tactical gear. He immediately shot four people outside of the store, killing three. Once inside, the security guard, a retired Buffalo police officer, Aaron Salter, Jr., exchanged gunshots with the suspect before being shot and killed. The armed terrorist proceeded to shoot nine more people, murdering seven of them.
The attack was planned well in advance. Payton Gendron traveled from 200 miles away, had engraved racial epithets and the names of other mass shooters on his weapon. Authorities found a manifesto detailing the killer’s hatred for the Black community and linked it to him. The writings cited the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory peddled by White Supremacists that falsely claims that white people are being replaced by minorities. Gendron targeted a predominantly Black community and unleashed his racist hatred.
Unlike the deadly brutality inflicted George Floyd, Charleena Lyles, and Breonna Taylor, officers were able to employ de-escalation techniques to take the armed suspect into custody. He has been charged with murder, to which he has pleaded not guilty and is currently on suicide watch.
The innocent victims include thirteen people between the ages of 20 and 86:
• Roberta A. Drury, 32, of Buffalo
• Margus D. Morrison, 52, of Buffalo
• Andre Mackneil, 53, of Auburn, New York
• Aaron Salter, 55, of Lockport, New York
• Geraldine Talley, 62, of Buffalo
• Celestine Chaney, 65, of Buffalo
• Heyward Patterson, 67, of Buffalo
• Katherine Massey, 72, of Buffalo
• Pearl Young, 77, of Buffalo
• Ruth Whitfield, 86, of Buffalo
• Zaire Goodman, 20, of Buffalo, was treated and released from hospital
• Jennifer Warrington, 50, of Tonawanda, New York, was treated and released from hospital
• Christopher Braden, 55, of Lackawanna, New York, had non-life-threatening injuries
Multiple Go Fund Me campaigns have been set up to offer support for the individuals and families affected.