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Buffalo mass shooting victim's son: 'My mother taught us how to love'

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Posted at 10:04 AM, May 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-15 11:04:41-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — An 86-year-old woman was among those who were killed in a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York.

Former Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield confirmed his mother, Ruth Whitfield, is among the victims of Saturday's shooting.

"My mother taught us how to love unconditionally," he said. "That's how she loved us completely."

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said Sunday that former Commissioner Whitfield went to the scene of the shooting on Saturday to help when he learned his mother had been at the Tops store.

Nine of the victims were customers and four were Tops employees, including security guard Aaron Salter.

Investigators are praising Salter as a hero for trying to stop the shooter. He shot the gunman as he was entering the store, but the bullet did not penetrate his body armor. The suspect returned fire, killing Salter.

Salter was a retired Buffalo police officer who had worked at the Jefferson Avenue Tops for years.

Buffalo Police Department Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia called Salter "beloved," and "a hero in our eyes."

"We're sure he saved lives yesterday," Gramaglia told ABC News.

This story was originally reported on wkbw.com.