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Governor of New York Kathy Hochul joined a Buffalo Baptist congregation for worship on Sunday as the community mourned the loss of 10 victims who were killed during Saturday’s mass shooting at a local Tops grocery story.
Hochul joined several other public speakers, including Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, at True Bethel Baptist Church’s Sunday morning worship. Payton Gendron (18 years old) allegedly opened fire on a Tops Friendly Market shop Saturday morning, killing 10 and wounding at most three others.
According to authorities, eleven of the victims were Black, and the other two were White.
PHOTOS FROM THE CRIME SCENE:
Warning: This article contains graphic images
The New York governor called the gunman a “coward” as she told an emotional audience, “an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us, because we are all God’s people.”
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According to Hochul, the mass shooting was “personal” for her and her family. Hochul’s public service career got its start in Erie County, where the Tops store is located, and her husband was the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York.
Hochul said, “Yes, Lord. Forgive my anger in my heart.” Hochul also told the congregation that Hochul had channeled his anger into his passion to continue fighting to protect people, get guns off the streets, and silence hate and racism all over the internet.
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Gendron, who is White, pulled up to the Tops grocery store around 2:30 p.m. and immediately began firing off shots – wounding four people in front of the market before making his way inside, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. Three of the four victims died.
Officials say that the suspect exchanged fire with Aaron Salter (retired police officer) once inside. Salter fired several rounds at Gendron before the suspect fatally shot him, Gramaglia said.
Gendron is alleged to have then made his way through the store, shooting at other victims. Gendron was then confronted and forced to surrender the rifle.
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Speaking to the congregation on Sunday, Hochul said Saturday’s attack was “in a league of its own.”
“She said, “This is a new dimension in which you have attacked people due to the color of their skin, because they are cowards.” “I want to silence these voices now and make it clear that people will talk about Buffalo but that they should talk about Buffalo the last place this has ever happened.”
Mayor Brown said to True Bethel that it was a blessing for him to wake up because “some members of our community didn’t get up this morning.”
Brown stated that Brown was proud of the “all these innocent, good-hearted members of our community shopping and working, looking after each other’s families.” “Their lives and their examples should be examples to us that we have to love more, we have to care about each other more, because we don’t know when our time might come.”
In the wake of the tragedy, community members have set up memorials at the crime scene and other locations throughout the city. Other community groups have also planned vigils or events in memory of the victims on Sunday morning.
Voice Buffalo, the Stop the Violence Coalition (Still the Violence Coalition) and the Buffalo Peacemakers held a vigil at 9 a.m. on Sunday near Tops. St. John’s Baptist Church and Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church also planned special services, at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., respectively.
Buffalo Community Fridge also has a Sunday event planned for 11:11 a.m. The organization is collecting food donations for any Tops shoppers who have been impacted by Saturday’s mass shooting.
Around 11 a.m. demonstrators marched up to the store, carrying flowers and singing chants such as “No justice, No peace” and “Black Lives Matter.”
Gendron was taken to court late Saturday night and pleaded not guilty. Gendron was held without bail and will be back in court on Thursday.
This report was contributed by Stephen Goin, Fox News.
Source: Fox News