Photo: John Normile / Contributor via Getty Images
  /  05.14.2023

Today (May 14) marks the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York. To honor the lives of the 10 victims, Mayor Byron Brown and community stakeholders held a remembrance memorial at the site of the tragedy. A permanent fixture honoring the victims will be placed at the site later this year.

As widely reported, a racist attack unfolded when Payton S. Gendron, dressed in tactical gear and armed with an assault-style rifle, took aim at shoppers in the parking lot. In total, he injured 13 people. Mayor Brown began his remarks by stating that “a white supremacist drove to our great city with the expressed intent of killing as many Black people as possible.” Authorities determined that the 18-year-old targeted the predominantly Black community in a rampage he spent months orchestrating.

“He took 10 lives, 10 precious lives, and injured three others,” said Brown. He expressed that the aftermath of the shooting left Buffalo “traumatized and grieving.” The fatally wounded victims are Ruth Whitfield, 86; Pearl Young, 77; Katherine “Kat” Massey, 72; Heyward Patterson, 67; Celestine Chaney, 65; Geraldine Talley, 62; Andre Mackneil, 53; Margus Morrison, 52; Aaron Salter, Jr., 55; and Roberta Drury, 32.

Brown continued, “In the days, weeks, and months since the mass shooting, Buffalonians and West New Yorkers came together in amazing ways, lifted each other up, [and] supported each other in our grief and showed the world why we are known as the city of good neighbors, the way this community came together.”

Speaking directly to the survivors and victims’ families, he expressed pride in how they have stood up and spoken out to uplift their community despite the massacre. “I consider all of you heroes, the way you have — in the face of the most unimaginable tragedy that anyone can think of — the way you have represented your families,” said Brown, who is in his third term as mayor.   

On Friday (May 12), a wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of three families. The documents show defendants are listed as six social media platforms (Facebook, Snapchat, Google, Discord, Reddit, and Twitch), a body armor manufacturer, a New York-based gun store, a gun accessories manufacturer, and the shooter’s parents.

Sunday also marks Mother’s Day, an occasion that Brown acknowledged is bittersweet for the families who have been in mourning after losing a loved one a year ago. “I just want to take a moment, even on this somber day, to recognize all of the mothers, to thank the mothers who are here with us today and who are watching and listening. Thank you for what you mean to our families and communities,” he said. Others who spoke at the memorial included Tops Friendly Market President and COO John Persons, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, and Reverend Rachelle Robinson.

The full remembrance service can be viewed below.



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