10 innocent, unsuspecting shoppers killed in hate-fueled supermarket shooting
The suspect’s motivation isn’t anything new for America.
TOLEDO, Ohio — On a quiet Saturday afternoon in Buffalo, New York, hate showed up at a neighborhood grocery store, where innocent people were carrying out an everyday task we think nothing about.
Now, an 18-year-old white male, who was armed with an AR-15, is facing some serious charges.
“I frequent this store all the time. I’ve never been afraid to be here — I am now,” a community member told ABC affiliate WKBW. “This is something that I watch on the news that happens in other places.”
It was a beautiful afternoon — but everything changed, when Payton Gendron opened fire at the Tops Family Market, located on Jefferson Avenue, in the City of Good Neighbors.
And today, 10 innocent, Black victims are being remembered.
32-year-old Roberta Drury, who a family friend described to ABC News as “vibrant and outgoing.”
Deacon Hayward Patterson, described by Pastor James Giles, as a “loving person.”
Then there’s the hero security guard, a former Buffalo Police Department officer. Aaron Salter shot the gunman in an attempt to put an end to the horror. But the shooter returned fire, killing Salter.
“We already know what happened. But what do we do about this? How do we move forward from this? And to me, I’m an older guy. So I know this, too, shall pass,” Buffalo Peacemaker Kenneth Stephens explained.
Stephens’ thoughts mirror those of many Americans. How can similar scenarios play out time after time, all with little to no action.
We are, however, learning more about the shooter’s troubled past, and the signs that were ignored. It’s a story we find to be all-to-familiar.
The AP reports that New York State Police were called to Susquehanna Valley High School, where the shooter attended. That was after the then-17-year-old made threats of violence, resulting in him being referred for a mental health evaluation. On top of that, he had written and posted a lengthy manifesto online, claiming in-part that the United States should only be home to white people.
All of this built up to Gendron’s planning, according to law enforcement, and drive of almost 200 miles from his hometown of Conklin, New York. And all of it was done with the twisted intention of taking as many Black lives as possible.
While the pain from this event won’t be going away anytime soon, one thing is true: Buffalo’s a strong city that will heal from this, though it’ll surely take some time.