A Mass-Shooting in Buffalo, New York Leaves Americans in Despair
Sadly, this past Shabbat there was a shooting in Buffalo, New York. The shooting took place in a supermarket at 2:30 pm. There are a total of 13 victims: 3 wounded and 10 dead. Authorities believe the attack was racially motivated with 11 of the victims being African-Americans. The name of the supermarket was Tops Friendly Market, in the Kingsley neighborhood. The shooter live-streamed the attack on Twitch, and officials say the attack is being investigated as both a hate crime and an act of terrorism. The suspect has already been charged with first-degree murder.
Now there is an ongoing investigation on the 911 dispatcher, who allegedly hung up on a store employee for whispering. 33-year-old Latisha Rodgers hid behind the customer service desk and called 911 when the shooter, Payton Gendron, started firing his weapon. She stated, “I was just whispering because I didn’t want the man to hear me. And the lady yelled at me, ‘Why are you whispering? You don’t have to whisper.’” Ms. Rodgers said that she had to call her boyfriend to call 911 because the operator hung up on her. Rosie Mary Wysocki, the Tops produce manager says, “I find it disgusting that this 911 operator hung up on her because she was whispering.” Erie County Central Police Services say that the individual who took that call is now on administrative leave pending a disciplinary hearing. The fact that this happens makes everyone feel very unsafe.
The shooter shows no remorse and faces the death penalty. He boasted about how his family had no idea that he would do this. He said that he studied a youtube video on Buffalo’s worst neighborhoods to scope out a potential target. The 18-year-old shooter said that he was going to continue to rampage if someone hadn’t stopped him. On his way out of the hearing, someone called him a coward.
The 18-year-old gunman had undergone a mental health evaluation by New York state police after making a school shooting threat last year, authorities said. “The state police responded. They investigated. They interviewed the subject. And they felt at the time it was appropriate to have that individual brought in for a mental health evaluation,” said Buffalo police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia at a press conference Sunday.
This act of terrorism is incredibly unsettling. The families of the victims are furious and some are having financial issues now. National Compassion Fund is teaming up with Tops Friendly Markets, to help the families of the victims and those directly affected.