Memorial unveiled for 10 people killed in Buffalo Tops two years ago

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Hundreds gathered on Tuesday to pay tribute at a newly dedicated memorial for the victims of the devastating Buffalo Tops grocery store shooting, marking two years since the tragic day.

At the heart of the ceremony, attended by residents and dignitaries alike, was the unveiling of the “5/14 Honor Space.” This poignant tribute features a sculpture titled “Unity,” surrounded by ten granite bollards, each engraved with the names of the people whose lives were senselessly cut short.

Buffalo’s mayor led attendees in a solemn remembrance, reading out the names of the ten victims followed by a moment of silence held at 2:28 p.m., the exact time the shooting started two years ago. This memorial aims to be a haven for solace and reflection, helping the community to forge a path toward healing.

On May 14, 2022, 18-year-old Payton Gendron targeted the predominantly Black neighborhood, killing 10 and wounding three others in a racially motivated attack. Eight supermarket customers, the store security guard, and a church deacon who drove shoppers to and from the store were killed. The victims ranged in age from 32 to 86.

News10NBC’s Brett Davidsen spoke with people profoundly impacted by the tragedy. Mark Talley, son of victim Geraldine Talley, expressed his enduring grief: “I’m sad. Unfortunately, because one racist, domestic terrorist hated Black people, my mother is now a pillar instead of a living being.”

Delores Jackson, who was shopping at the Tops store during the attack, shared her ongoing struggle with the traumatic memories. “I took the time to come today and I brought flowers to pass out to individuals that I would engage today, and I’m hoping that today will bring me a first step to beginning to heal,” she said.

While physically unharmed, Jackson recounted the harrowing moment she hid in a freezer to escape the gunfire. Like many others, she continues to confront the mental and emotional toll of that day.

As the community reflects on this solemn anniversary and assembles around the new memorial, it is a stark reminder of the journey of recovery that lies ahead for many.

Memorial for Buffalo Tops mass shooting

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Gendron, whose hate was fueled by racist conspiracy theories he encountered online, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on state charges. He pleaded guilty in November of 2022 and was sentenced in February of 2023.

Last January, federal prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty against Gendron. While New York State doesn’t have the death penalty, the Justice Department has the option of seeking it in a separate federal hate crimes case.

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