Buffalo, NY mass shooting victims: Police release names of those killed at Tops supermarket, including “hero” guard Aaron Salter

BUFFALO, NY – The Buffalo Police Department has released the names of those killed in a mass shooting at a supermarket.

Here is the full police list:

Roberta A. Drury of Buffalo, NY – 32 years old
Margus D. Morrison of Buffalo, NY – 52 years old
Andre Mackneil from Auburn, NY – 53 years old
Aaron Salter from Lockport, NY – 55 years old
Geraldine Talley of Buffalo, New York – 62 years old
Celestine Chaney from Buffalo, New York – 65 years old
Heyward Patterson of Buffalo, New York – 67 years old
Katherine Massey of Buffalo, New York – 72 years old
Pearl Young from Buffalo, NY – 77 years old
Ruth Whitfield of Buffalo, NY – 86 years old

Aaron Salter was a popular community member and security guard who knew the Tops Friendly Market shoppers by name. When they were attacked by a gunman with a gun, he quickly stepped in to protect his community.

The retired Buffalo police officer shot the attacker multiple times, hitting his armored vest at least once. The bullet missed and Salter was shot.

“He’s a true hero,” Buffalo Police Chief Joseph Gramaglia said Sunday. “Without his actions, there could have been more victims.”

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

Salter, who was black, “served the community. He ran the store,” said resident Yvette Mack. She remembered him as someone who “let us know whether we were right or wrong.”

Mack went 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’re playing your numbers!’ I laughed. And he played his numbers too. Can you imagine seeing someone and you don’t know they won’t go home?” She said.

Among those Salter tried to protect was a man who was visiting relatives in town and picking up a surprise birthday cake for his grandson.

ALSO SEE | Alleged Buffalo shooter may have planned attack months ago: authorities

“He never came out with the cake,” Clarissa Alston-McCutcheon said of her cousin. She said that kind of surprise is typical for him. He was “just a loving and caring guy. Loved family. Was always there for his family.”

Ruth Whitfield was the 86-year-old mother of retired Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield. She had just been visiting her husband at a nursing home, as she did every day, when she stopped at Tops to buy some groceries and was killed, her son told The Buffalo News.

Ruth Whitfield is “a mother to the motherless” and “a blessing to all of us,” her son said. He attributed her strength and dedication to family to her strong religious beliefs.

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

Roberta Drury had recently returned home to live with her mother, Dezzelynn McDuffie, who told The Buffalo News the 32-year-old went to Tops to pick up groceries on Saturday afternoon. McDuffie was soon seeing horrifying videos on social media that appeared to show the shooter shooting her daughter right outside the store.

Also killed were shopper Katherine Massey, whose sister Barbara Massey called her “a beautiful soul,” and Haywood Patterson, who worked as a driver, taking people to and from Tops and helping them shop.

Patterson was loading an elderly woman’s groceries into his car when he was killed, friend Tony Sanders told The Buffalo News. Sanders said Patterson’s first name was Heyward, although a parish newspaper listed him as Haywood. Sanders said Patterson is a deacon at his church and “my best friend.”

Zaire Goodman, 20, was among the wounded after being shot in the neck, Senator Tim Kennedy said at a service on Sunday. Goodman is the son of one of Kennedy’s associates.

“I am devastated. I’m angry,” Kennedy said, adding that Goodman was recovering. “And I’m thinking of the families who are not welcoming a loved one home tonight.”

ABC7 Chicago contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://abc13.com/mass-shooting-supermarket-buffalo-victims-aaron-salter/11854349/ Buffalo, NY mass shooting victims: Police release names of those killed at Tops supermarket, including “hero” guard Aaron Salter

Chrissy Callahan

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