Today (May 20), a funeral was held for Buffalo shooting victim Deacon Heyward Patterson.
The service was at Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church and civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton was present for the homegoing.
In a press conference yesterday at Antioch Baptist Church in Buffalo, New York, Patterson’s wife Tirzah mourned the loss of her husband with whom she shares a 12-year-old son.
“Every day I have to pray and do a check-in with him to make sure he’s not mentally all over the place. His heart is broken. He half-sleeps, he half-eats, and as a mother, what am I supposed to do to help him get through this? I need a village to help me raise and be here for my son because he has no father,” Patterson said as tears flowed.
“They took his father, he will grow up fatherless. He has to live even after this and I have to pray that God gives me strength to raise him to the best of my ability,” the widow added.
Patterson lost his life Saturday (May 14), when accused gunman Payton Gendron opened fire on unsuspecting shoppers at a Tops Friendly Markets grocery store in Buffalo. The suspect reportedly planned the racially motivated attack for months and even scouted the location beforehand to find an area with a large number of Black people.
One of Patterson’s relatives described the slain father as “An honorable man. A family man. A working man. A community man. An honest man that was at a grocery store in a parking lot.”
According to ABC News, Roberta Drury’s service will be held tomorrow (May 21) at the Church of the Assumption in Syracuse, New York. An obituary posted online said Drury “couldn’t walk a few steps without meeting a new friend. She made sure every single person in the room was having a great time, ready to laugh and hug at a moment’s notice.”
More funerals for the victims are scheduled for next week.