Buffalo community gathers to honor those lost in mass shooting

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WHEC) — Saturday marks one week since the mass shooting at a Tops Supermarket in Buffalo. A moment of silence was held at the shooting scene on Jefferson Avenue to honor the 10 victims. News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey was there for the event.

It was an emotional afternoon. Memorials set up all around the perimeter of the Tops store have significantly grown in size. Every day since the shooting took place, people continue to put down flowers, pictures, and more. The side of one building, next door to the Tops Market, is covered with names and sayings in chalk. The crowd spent a few minutes in silence to pay their respects.

The sound of silence and soft cries during a moment of remembrance for the 10 victims who were shot and killed last Saturday. Shortly after, the entire street broke out in song.

For some, the memory of this massacre lingers.

"They didn’t deserve that. They didn’t," Julie Harwell said, in tears.

Harwell was inside the Tops store with her family when tragedy struck. She says, they got out alive, but are still trapped mentally. As tears rolled down her face, she questions the future.

"What are we going to do next? What’s going to happen? After the media goes away. After these people stop hugging me. After I stop getting phone calls. What’s going to happen?"

"Being killed for your skin color". One community member said that processing the reality of what happened is painful.

"They’re victims that survived this massive attack from white supremacy from someone who wanted to kill them and anyone who looked like them. All those bullets represented an African American person," said Tim Newkirk, a pastor in the Buffalo area, and also part of the Community Action Coalition of WNY.

"These people are devastated, they’re hurting, the community is really hurting," Jacquila Smith said, a community member.

It’s written on the wall. One by one people picked up a piece of chalk to write their names or a positive phrase along the side of a building directly across from the Tops store, showing the unity the Queen City is capable of.

"We’re here to show love on each other, to keep memories alive and to keep sharing," Tasha Johnson said, another Buffalo community member.

The moment of silence was at all Tops locations. It has stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Tops officials say there are plans to reopen the market. Those plans include memorializing the 10 victims.