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‘Evil Will Not Win': President Biden Travels to Buffalo To Pay Respects At Memorial, Comfort Families And Speak About Mass Shooting

The president was joined by First Lady Jill Biden at the Tops market where the shooter specifically targeted Black victims.

After thanking Gov. Kathy Hochul and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, President Joe Biden spoke today (May 17) to the nation from a community center in Buffalo, New York, addressing the mass shooting at a local supermarket that ended in 10 people killed and three more injured on Saturday, May 14. According to CNN, 11 of the people shot were Black and shot intentionally based on race. Authorities arrested Payton Gendron as the suspected gunman in the shooting in what the President called, “domestic terrorism”.

The President first spoke about his personal understanding of the grief, anger, and pain that the families and loved ones are now feeling. Then, he went through each of the 10 victim’s names, going through the specific details about what made their individual lives so important and necessary, especially those with close ties to the Buffalo community.  

Celestine Chaney, 65, a brain cancer survivor, churchgoer Bingo player, who went to buy strawberries to make your favorite shortcake. She was a loving mother and a grandmother.

Roberta A. Drury, 32, beloved daughter and sister who came back home to help take care of her brother after his bone marrow transplant. She went to buy groceries for dinner. She was the center of attention and made everyone in the room laugh and smile.

Andre Mackneil, 53, who worked at a restaurant and went to buy his three year old son a birthday cake. Now, his son is asking, ‘where's daddy?’

Katherine Massey, 72, a writer and an advocate who dressed up in costumes for schools, cut the grass in the park and helped in local elections. She was the glue of her family and in the community.

Margus D. Morrison, 52, was a school bus aide. He went to buy snacks for a weekly movie night with the family. He is survived by his wife and three children and a stepdaughter and was the center of their world.

Heyward Patterson, 67, a father and church Deacon who fed the homeless and soup kitchen and gave rides to the grocery store to neighbors who needed help. He was putting food in the trunk of others when he took his final breath.

Aaron Salter, 55, the store’s security guard, a retired Buffalo Police Officer for three decades. He loved electric cars. He is the hero who gave his life to save others on a Saturday afternoon and had that man not been wearing that  bulletproof vest that he purchased, a lot of lives would have been saved. He was a beloved father and husband.

Geraldine Talley, 62, an expert banker known for her warm, gentle personality. She was a friend to everybody, a devoted mother and grandmother.

Ruth Whitfield, 86, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She sang in the church choir and was a caretaker to her husband, bringing him clean clothes, cutting his hair, holding his hand every day she visited him in the nursing home.

Pearly Young, 77, a mother, grandmother, and missionary of God. She was a public school teacher and also ran a local food pantry. She loved singing, dancing and her family.

Biden did not forget the three victims who continue to fight as the endure a long road to physical and mental recovery. They include 20-year old Zaire Goodman of Buffalo, 50-year-old Jennifer Warrington from Tonawanda, New York and 55-year-old Christopher Braden from Lackawanna, New York. All were said to have non-threatening injuries.

RELATED: Buffalo Supermarket Mass Shooting Called ‘Straight-Up Racially Motivated Hate Crime’

RELATED:  Ten Buffalo Shooting Victims Include A 'Hero' Security Guard And Community Activist, 72

The President’s speech, empathetic in tone and nature, also included stern warnings that America will not succumb to the ideology of hate and racist values spewed by the alleged gunman and others. He intentionally referred to the shooting as “racist” and an example of “white supremacy” saying, “What happened here is simple and straightforward. Terrorism. Terrorism. Domestic terrorism.”

“This venom, this violence, cannot be the story of our time.”

However, the New York Times, points out that while Biden’s speech will likely resonate with a nation that now collectively mourns again, he has yet to announce any specific policy around greater gun control or specific ways to end white supremacy and other forms of radicalized hate other than saying, “hate and fear of being given too much oxygen”.

For details on the mass shooting in Buffalo, visit BET.com.

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