Buffalo Victims of Tops Market Mass Shooting: Names, Photos

buffalo victims


Victims Ruth Whitfield (l), Pearly Young (top right) and Aaron Salter Jr. (bottom right)

A retired police officer named Aaron Salter, Jr. who was working as a security guard. Ruth Whitfield, the 86-year-old mother of a retired fire commissioner. A woman who went to pick up groceries named Katherine Massey. A 77-year-old grandmother who was a missionary named Pearly Young.

Those are just some of the 10 victims of the Buffalo mass shooter. You can read about each victim later in this story as their names are released.

“This was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said in a news conference. “It was a straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community.”

According to authorities, 11 of the 13 victims who were shot were Black and two were white. The victims include four store employees.

Payton Gendron is the suspect accused of killing at least 10 people at the grocery store in store in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, May 14, 2022, while live-streaming video. Gendron was taken into custody at the scene, Buffalo Police said. Three others were wounded. Gendron is facing first-degree murder charges in New York state court and could also face federal charges, including hate crimes, officials said. The names of the victims have not been released yet.

A racist and anti-Semitic manifesto and a Twitch livestream were attributed online to the gunman, but authorities have not verified those accounts. A graphic video emerged that shows bodies lying in the parking lot as law enforcement officers take the suspect into custody. Gendron is from Conklin, New York. He said in the manifesto he is an 18-year-old college student and a self-described white supremacist. In the manifesto, he said he targeted a city with a large Black population.

State Senator Tim Kennedy tweeted that the son of a member of his staff was among the injured. “Tonight, a member of my staff, my extended family, is at ECMC when she should be at home. She’s sitting in a hospital waiting room, because her beautiful, extraordinary son was shot while he was simply doing his job,” he tweeted.

Here are the victims, as they become identified. All of the victims will be added to the list below as they are identified.

Ruth Whitfield

According to the Buffalo News, Whitfield, one of the victims, was 86-years-old and the mother of retired Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell W. Whitfield. Whitfield, who was Black, was a mother of four.

She was shopping at the time of the shooting, the newspaper reported.

“My mom was the consummate mom. My mother was a mother to the motherless. She was a blessing to all of us. She loved God and taught us to do the same thing,” Whitfield told the newspaper.

Aaron Salter Jr.

Aaron Salter was a retired Buffalo police officer and beloved security guard.

Buffalo Police Chief Joseph Gramaglia called him “a hero in our eyes” during a news conference. Salter confronted and shot the gunman before the gunman shot him to death.

According to the Buffalo News, Salter was remembered as a “beloved security guard.” Salter was Black, according to the Buffalo News. A manifesto attributed to the shooter makes it clear he is a white supremacist who chose Buffalo because it has a large Black population.

“One of the individuals inside the store is a security guard, a beloved security guard, who is a retired Buffalo Police officer, a hero in our eyes, engaged the suspect, fired multiple shots, struck the suspect, but because he had heavy armor plating on, that bullet had no round,” the police commissioner said in the news conference. The suspect then killed the security guard, police said.

The Daily Beast reported that Salter had worked at the grocery store for four years.

As a police officer, Salter, 55, worked in the Northeast District, according to the newspaper, which added that Salter’s gunfire did not take down the shooter because he was wearing “protective tactical gear.”

“Today is a shock,” his son, Aaron Salter III, told The Daily Beast. “I’m pretty sure he saved some lives today. He’s a hero.”

Salter left behind three children. According to The Daily Beast, he entered the Buffalo police department immediately after graduating from high school.

Read more about Salter here.

Pearly Young

News anchor Madison Carter tweeted a photo of Young. She wrote,

“Pearly Young, 77, was killed today in #Buffalo shopping for groceries. For 25 years she ran a pantry where every Saturday she fed people in Central Park. Every. Saturday. She loved singing, dancing, & being with family. She was mother, grandma, & missionary. Gone too soon.”

Katherine Massey

The Buffalo News, which confirmed that Katherine Massey was among the victims, reported that she “had gone to the store to pick up some groceries.”

“She was a beautiful soul,” her sister, Barbara Massey, told the newspaper.

A photo will be added for Massey when one emerges.

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