Buffalo Community Reflects, Grieving 6 Months After Topps Shooting | Media Pyro

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Six months have passed since the mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York that left 10 dead and three injured.

Since the May 14 shooting at Topps Friendly Market, members of the community have mourned the loss of friends and family, the store remodeled and reopened just months after the tragedy, and a grand jury indicted the shooter on federal hate crime charges. .

On Monday, Nov. 14, Buffalo, the “City of Good Neighbors,” will observe a moment of silence.

But for some, life has been difficult in the last six months.

“It was hell on earth,” Seneta Everhart told CBS News’ Jeff Gloir.

Everhart’s son Zaire started his first job at Topps on Jefferson Avenue a year before the shooting. He was shot in the neck and survived.

Others, including Garnell Whitfield’s 86-year-old mother Ruth, did not. Whitfield, the city’s former fire commissioner, wasn’t surprised the suspect targeted black people.

“Racism and bigotry and white supremacy — we know they’ve always been here,” Whitfield told CBS News. “The only difference between my previous years and today is that they took off their armor. They wore hoods and they covered themselves. Now, they’re leaving it open.”

New York State Civil Service Commission President Tim Hoggs arrived at the scene of the mass shooting ahead of police. Hoggs said he saw bodies lying in the parking lot.

“I couldn’t get into the store after it opened,” he said.

In the wake of the firing, rescue operations began immediately. In the 1950s and 1960s, the area, which housed the Buffalo Bills stadium a few blocks away, was used to provide counseling and catering services while the neighborhood’s only grocery store closed.

Meanwhile, Everhart started the “Senetta and Sayers Book Club,” which received thousands of donations.

“Education is key to solving the problem of racism,” Everhart said. “Kids aren’t born hating other cultures and other people. That’s what we’re taught. So if we teach kids that black people are just like them and they have lives like them, we start at a very young age. Eliminate racism.”

Byron Brown, Buffalo’s longest-serving and first black mayor, hopes the situation will serve a broader purpose.

“We want to make sure the buffalo is remembered so we can prevent this from happening in other places around the country.”

First published on November 12, 2022 / 9:10 AM

© 2022 CBS Interactive Inc. all rights reserved.

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