On Saturday May 14, 2022, a white man walked into a supermarket in Buffalo, New York and shot 13 people, killing 10 and wounding 3. Many people believe that this event, that they are calling a massacre, was racially motivated. 11 of the people attacked were Black, and 2 were White.
The victims are as follows:
Roberta A. Drury, 32, of Buffalo
Margus D. Morrison, 52, of Buffalo
Andre Mackniel, 53, of Auburn, New York
Aaron Salter, 55, of Lockport, New York
Geraldine Talley, 62, of Buffalo
Celestine Chaney, 65, of Buffalo
Heyward Patterson, 67, of Buffalo
Katherine Massey, 72, of Buffalo
Pearl Young, 77, of Buffalo
Ruth Whitfield, 86, of Buffalo
The three injured were:
Zaire Goodman, 20, of Buffalo, who was treated and released from hospital.
Jennifer Warrington, 50, of Tonawanda, New York, who was treated and released from hospital.
Christopher Braden, 55, of Lackawanna, New York, who had non-life-threatening injuries.
The deaths of the victims have affected the community greatly. A retired police lieutenant. A substitute teacher who was a “pillar of the community.” A beloved grandmother of six. A dedicated community activist. These were among the people who were killed in the massacre.
There is a lead suspect in the case, 18-year-old Peyton S. Gendron, a white man, who is believed to have traveled hours to target the Tops Friendly Markets store in a predominantly Black neighborhood according to Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo. Gendron, 30 minutes before the shooting, had created a private chat room on Discord and invited people to view his chat logs before he went to the Tops Friendly Markets store.
According to a spokesperson from Discord, “Among the Discord posts, which run from mid-November to May, Gendron wrote he chose the zip code in Buffalo because it was the one with the greatest percentage of Black people that’s relatively near his home in Conklin, New York.”
The governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, is holding Discord partially accountable for the shooting as the social media platform could have predicted this event coming to pass. With the notices and long period of time ranging from the end of 2021 to spring of 2022, Hochul believes they could have stopped this or possibly notified the authorities. Hochul stated, “These social media platforms have to take responsibility. They must be more vigilant in monitoring the content and they must be held accountable for favoring engagement over public safety.”
President Joe Biden also made a statement in regards to the shooting. The President called the mass shooting “terrorism” as he urged action on assault weapons and efforts to address the “relentless exploitation of the internet to recruit and mobilize terrorism.” Mayor Brown told the press that the president has taken special care in this case and “didn’t hurry through the meetings, didn’t rush the people who were in pain, and took extra care in spending time with the families who lost loved ones in the shooting.”
President Biden referred to white supremacy as a “poison” that has overrun our political body for too long, saying: “In America, evil will not win, I promise you. Hate will not prevail. White supremacy will not have the last word. The evil did come to Buffalo and it’s come to all too many places, manifested in gunmen who massacred innocent people in the name of hateful and perverse ideology, rooted in fear and racism. It’s taken so much.”