The son of the security guard killed in a mass shooting at Tops Supermarket in Buffalo, New York on Saturday called him a hero who saved lives with his bravery.
Aaron Salter Jr. was shot and killed while trying to stop white supremacist Payton Gendron,18, from carrying out a racially motivated attack at the supermarket in the predominantly Black neighborhood.
Salter, a retired Buffalo Police Department officer working as a security guard at the supermarket, fired multiple shots at Gendron as he approached the store, but they hit his bulletproof vest. Gendron returned fire killing Salter.
“Today is a shock. I’m pretty sure he saved some lives today. He’s a hero,” Aaron Salter III told The Daily Beast.
Salter leaves behind three children.
In a resurfaced Facebook post from August 2019, Salter III wrote that he was worried about a mass shooting taking place close to home after a man walked into a Walmart store in Missouri dressed in body armor and carrying a loaded rifle and 100 rounds.
“If i hear another story of someone mass shooting innocent people or like yesterday the 20 year old in Missouri who when to Walmart with and [sic] assault rifle and 100 rounds and recorded himself making comments to people shopping I’m gonna loose [sic] my mind. [W]e can’t even do everyday shit without having to watch our backs and that’s scary af! The sad thing is I feel like a crazy close to home is gonna do something soon and I’m not ready for that,” Salter III wrote.
Salter Jr’s family has history with Top Market. His mother worked as a cashier there for 15 years before she was promoted to front-end manager until she retired in 1986.
Salter Jr. is among the 10 people killed during the attack on Saturday. Thirteen people were shot in all. Four of the people who were shot were store employees. Out of the 13 victims, 11 are Black while two are White.
Gendron was arraigned and charged with murder in the first degree on Saturday, to which he pleaded not guilty.