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Retired Buffalo Police officer Aaron Salter was killed at Tops Markets grocery store when trying to protect others from the shooter, 18-year-old Payton Gendron.
Buffalo Police respond to a shooting at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, N.Y., Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Thompson)
When Gendron entered the store, Salter shot him with his firearm multiple times. However, the gunman was wearing armored plating that deflected the bullets. Gendron then fatally shot Salter.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Salter is “a hero in our eyes,” WIVB-TV in Buffalo reported.
The police department has reached out to Salter’s family to offer its condolences.
A crowd gathers as police investigate after a shooting at a supermarket on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. Multiple people were shot at the Tops Friendly Market. Police have notified the public that the alleged shooter was in custody. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
“I had the pleasure of knowing him, great guy, well respected, well-liked. This is just horrific. It’s tragic. I don’t know what other words to describe it,” Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President John Evans said, according to the local outlet.
Salter was one of two people who died from the shooting to be identified. Ruth Whitfield, 86, was also killed in the shooting.
Police secure an area around a supermarket where several people were killed in a shooting, Saturday, May 14, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y. Officials said the gunman entered the supermarket with a rifle and opened fire. Investigators believe the man may have been livestreaming the shooting and were looking into whether he had posted a manifesto online (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP) (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP)
In addition to the 10 people who were killed, three others were injured in Saturday’s incident.
The gunman is being charged with first-degree murder, and pleaded not guilty Saturday evening.