BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo community is coming together to begin the healing process one day afterat a grocery store.
The suspect, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, allegedly arrived at the Tops market armed and wearing tactical gear before turning a quiet Saturday afternoon into a nightmare for so many.
“I was in aisle 14 putting up tags for our next week’s sale, and that’s when I heard the shots being fired inside the store,” one man told CBS2’s Kevin Rincon. “I grabbed my produce manager, my night ops manager, like four or five customers and told them to get in the conference room and I barricaded the door.”
Police said Gendron is from a small town more than three hours away.
Buffalo’s mayor said the gunman’s intention was “to take as many Black people as possible,” a belief that has the community on edge.
Dozens came out for a vigil turned rally Sunday as people struggle with a wide range of emotions, from sadness and anger to downright frustration.
Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke at a memorial not far from the rally.
“This is in a league of its own. This is a whole new dimension, where you’ve attacked people because of the color of the skin, because you are a coward, and I want to silence those voices now,” Hochul said.
Gendron was charged with first-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.