What We Know About the Buffalo Shooting Victims

The 10 killed and 3 injured have been identified
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 16, 2022 1:01 AM CDT
What We Know About the Buffalo Shooting Victims
A person holds a flower as a group prays outside of the scene of a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, May 15, 2022.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Aaron Salter was a beloved community member and security guard who knew the shoppers of Tops Friendly Market by name. When they came under attack from a gunman with a rifle, he sprang into action. The retired Buffalo police officer fired multiple times at the attacker, striking his armor-plated vest at least once. The bullet didn't pierce, and Salter, 55, was shot and killed. “He’s a true hero," Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Sunday. “There could have been more victims if not for his actions.” Salter was one of 10 killed in an attack whose victims represented a cross-section of life in the predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, NY. They were gunned down by a white man who authorities say showed up at the store with the “express purpose” of killing Black people, one of whom was Salter. Three others were wounded. More on the victims who have been publicly identified, per the AP and other sources:

  • Andre Mackneil, 53, of Auburn, NY, was in town visiting relatives and was picking up a surprise birthday cake for his grandson. “He never came out with the cake,” Clarissa Alston-McCutcheon said of her cousin. She said this sort of surprise was typical for him. He was "just a loving and caring guy. Loved family. Was always there for his family.”
  • Heyward Patterson, 67, was a deacon at a nearby church. He'd gone by the church's soup kitchen before heading to the supermarket, where he offered an informal taxi service driving people home with their bags. “From what I understand, he was assisting somebody putting their groceries in their car when he was shot and killed,” said Pastor Russell Bell of State Tabernacle Church of God in Christ.
  • Ruth Whitfield was the 86-year-old mother of retired Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield. She had just visited her husband at a nursing home, as she did every day, when she was killed buying a few groceries, her son told the Buffalo News. Ruth Whitfield was “a mother to the motherless” and “a blessing to all of us,” her son said. He attributed her strength and commitment to family to a strong religious faith.
  • Roberta Drury had recently returned home to live with her mother, Dezzelynn McDuffie, who told the Buffalo News that the 32-year-old—the youngest of the people slain—had walked to Tops to pick up some groceries Saturday afternoon. Soon, McDuffie saw horrifying videos circulating on social media that appeared to show the gunman shooting her daughter just outside the store.
  • Also killed was shopper Katherine Massey, 72, whose sister, Barbara Massey, called her “a beautiful soul."
  • Pearl Young, 77, was doing her grocery shopping when she was killed, Fox News reports. She was a mother, a food pantry chef, and a substitute teacher.
  • Geraldine Talley, 62, was described by her sister as "an amazing sister, mother, [and] aunt." Her fiancee, who was at the store with her, survived.
  • Celestine Chaney, 65, a grandmother, and Margus Morrison, 52, a father of three, were also killed.
  • Zaire Goodman, 20, Jennifer Warrington, 50, and Christopher Braden, 55, were identified as those injured. All are expected to survive, and two have already been released from the hospital, WGRZ reports.
(Read more Buffalo stories.)

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