Whitfield family responds after Buffalo shooter federal charges filed

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WHEC) – Just before Wednesday’s news conference, federal officials paid their respects to the shooting victims at the Tops Friendly Market.

As remodeling work continues at the market in Buffalo, some of the shooting victim’s family members met with Attorney General Merrick Garland, and the US Attorney for Western New York Trini Ross. Both were visiting the memorial outside the store.

"We’re certainly encouraged they’re here, and making this a priority. So we’re very happy about that," said Garnell Whitfield.

With flowers in his hands, Attorney General Garland, and US Attorney Ross walked to the market victim’s memorial to see it for themselves.

After a few minutes, they walked to Buffalo’s Apollo Theatre where they met with the Whitfield family. Garnell, his brother Raymond, and their sister Robin Harris lost their mother Ruth who died in the shooting. The family had a message they wanted to share with the attorneys.

"We wanted to make sure that they’re not looking at this as a singular case in Buffalo. This is a problem throughout America, and we’re very interested to know that they’re looking at this more broadly," said Whitfield.

Shortly after federal charges were officially filed against 18-year-old Peyton Gendron, News10NBC asked them for their thoughts.

"We’re glad that there’s a complaint, said Garnell. He continued, "It’s not finalized yet, but we’re glad this process has started."

Raymond added, "We are thankful that the Justice Department has come with the full power of the Justice Department. They’ve assured us that they will leave no stone left unturned, and that’s what is most important to us."

As far as the death penalty is concerned, the Whitfields have a strong feeling on the subject.

"We’re not here to talk about the death penalty. We’re just looking for justice," said the Whitfields.