Buffalo shooting victims are identified

A crowd gathers outside a supermarket, the scene of a shooting, in Buffalo, N.Y.
People gather outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., on Sunday.
(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

The 10 victims who died in the racially motivated shooting attack Saturday at a Buffalo, N.Y., grocery included a store security guard, a church deacon volunteering to pick up groceries, a woman caring for a brother recovering from cancer and a father buying his young son a birthday cake.

Another three people who were shot suffered non-life threatening injuries, and two of them had been released from the hospital late Sunday, Buffalo police said.

Authorities have said that 11 of the 13 total victims were Black, and that the man arrested in connection with the shooting, Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, N.Y., targeted the store because it’s in the ZIP Code with the highest percentage of Black residents — 78% — in upstate New York.


Security guard Aaron Salter Jr., 55, of Lockport, N.Y., a retired Buffalo police officer, confronted the gunman, firing at him, authorities said. But the shooter was unharmed, they said, shielded by body armor, and returned fire, killing Salter.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia called Salter “beloved” and “a hero in our eyes.”

Heyward “Tenny” Patterson, 68, was volunteering when he was killed outside Tops Friendly Markets, loading groceries into his car for someone he had driven to the market, his wife said.

Heyward "Tenny" Patterson
Heyward “Tenny” Patterson, 68, volunteered driving people to pick up groceries at Tops market, where he was killed.
(Patterson family)

“Just being up there it was really shocking,” said Tirzah Patterson, 53, on Sunday after visiting the market and hearing what transpired. “I just believe he did not see that coming because he was outside helping one of his clients put groceries in the car. He had his trunk open.”

The couple had a 12-year-old son, Jaques “Jake” Patterson, and Heyward Patterson had two adult daughters from a previous relationship. Tirzah Patterson gathered them all together Saturday before telling her son what had happened.


“I told him, ‘Your father has been in an incident and he was killed today.’ There was no way for me to sugarcoat it,” she said. “He broke down and he cried. His response was, ‘Why my dad?’ My other daughters, they just grabbed him and they just hugged him.”

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Patterson said she had not watched video of the shooting Sunday or spoken with authorities. She said she knew at least one of the other victims, Pearl “Pearly” Young, 77. Young’s family released a statement Sunday saying she was a longtime member of Good Samaritan Church of God in Christ and a substitute teacher in Buffalo public schools.

Pearl "Pearly" Young
Pearl “Pearly” Young, 77, was killed in a racially motivated shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday.
(Young family)

“She was a true pillar in the community,” the statement said. “She loved her students, and they loved her back.”

Patterson said she hopes the country responds to the shooting by unifying.

“It’s just time for us to come together as a nation. We may not always agree, we may always have different opinions, but we need to learn to communicate and not have things like this,” she said. “There’s power in unity.”

Her husband was born in Crenshaw, S.C., moved to Buffalo with his family as a youth and worked as a McDonald’s manager before retiring, she said. He volunteered driving people to local markets, as a deacon for State Tabernacle Church of God in Christ and at his church’s soup kitchen. His favorite scripture was a passage from Corinthians: “The old life is gone; a new life has begun.”


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The couple lived a five-minute drive from the market, but never felt unsafe or targeted in the area, she said.

“This is a first for us,” she said, adding that she was relying on prayer as she made her husband’s funeral arrangements for later this week. “Because I’m a Christian woman, I’ve been taught to pray. Hope gets us through.”

Roberta Drury
Roberta “Robbie” Drury, 32, was killed in a shooting at a Tops market in Buffalo, N.Y.
(Drury family)

Other shooting victims included Celestine Chaney, 65; Ruth Whitfield, 86, mother of a former Buffalo fire commissioner, who was heading home from visiting her husband in a nursing home and stopped to get something to eat, according to the local news site Niagara Action; and Andre Mackniel, 53, of Auburn, N.Y., who had come to the market to buy a birthday cake for his son, who had just turned 3 years old. Whitfield and Mackniel’s relatives could not be reached for comment Sunday.

According to a list released late Sunday by Buffalo police, the dead also included Margus Morrison, 52; Geraldine Talley, 62; and Katherine ‘Kat’ Massey, 72, a civil rights advocate who wrote for the Buffalo Challenger and Buffalo Criterion, including, a year ago, an article in support of more federal regulation of firearms.

Roberta “Robbie” Drury, 32, also killed in the massacre, was the youngest of four siblings raised outside Syracuse, N.Y. Adopted at 18 months as the only Black sibling, she faced racism, said her sister Amanda Drury, 34. But in their family, “race never mattered.”


“So this is just ugly on a level that as a family we can barely wrap our heads around,” Amanda Drury said, noting that for her sister, “‘I love you’ was her favorite thing to say; everyone was her family.”

She described her as, “outgoing, vibrant, always ready to hype up the party.”

Amanda said her sister had moved to Buffalo a decade ago to care for her older brother who was being treated for leukemia. They would text and trade photos.

“She was really proud of being able to step in for the family,” Drury said.

Drury said her sister was also helping their brother restore the Dalmatia, a local bar he had bought.

She had been looking forward to seeing her sister during the annual family beach vacation to Wildwood, N.J., in July.

“It’s going to be tough,” she said.