Security guard and ex-cop killed in Buffalo shooting are hailed as heroes

  • Buffalo Police praised one of their former officers who was killed in Saturday’s mass shooting.
  • The Daily Beast identified Aaron Salter Jr. as a security guard at the store and retired police officer.
  • Police said Salter confronted the gunman, but his bullets did not pierce the gunman’s armor.

Authorities on Saturday commended one of the victims of the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, who was killed while trying to confront the gunman.

The Daily Beast reported that the security guard was identified as Aaron Salter Jr., a 30-year veteran of the Buffalo Police Department. Salter’s son Aaron Salter III told The Daily Beast that his father was “a hero”.

“I’m sure he saved a few lives today,” he said. “Today is a shock.”

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told reporters at a news conference on Saturday that one of the store’s employees, a “beloved” security guard who happened to be a retired Buffalo police officer, “engaged the suspect” and opened fire on him. he.

But Gramaglia said that due to the sniper’s heavy body armor, none of the guard’s bullets deterred the sniper.

“The suspect attacked our retired officer and ended up being shot and killed on the spot,” Gramaglia said, adding that the guard was “a hero in our eyes.”

The Daily Beast reported that Salter, a father of three, joined the Buffalo Police Department immediately after high school. An old Buffalo News article even described one of Salter’s narrow escapes from a shotgun attack in 1996, reporting that Salter and one of his colleagues confronted a suspect with a loaded 12-gauge shotgun.

“My first reaction was to duck,” Salter told the paper. “I don’t like looking down the barrel of a shotgun, and if it hadn’t been for my partner shooting first, it would have been a golden opportunity to shoot us. My partner probably saved us.”

Salter’s LinkedIn profile said he spent the last two years of his law enforcement career in the transit division, policing events such as parades and races.

His profile also said that Salter’s dream was to work on cars and make them run on water instead of gasoline. He described himself as “a jack of all trades, master of nothing” and “always working on my vehicles”.

Ten people were killed and three injured Saturday afternoon in western New York after an 18-year-old white gunman arrived at a Tops supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood and opened fire.

Authorities said the shooting appeared to be an example of “racially motivated violent extremism”.

Authorities did not identify the rest of the shooting victims, nor did they disclose their ages, until Saturday night. Gramaglia said Salter was the only store employee who was killed, although three other workers were wounded in the shooting.

The other nine deaths were all from customers, Gramaglia said.

Of all 13 victims, 11 were black and two were white, he added.

The gunman surrendered to police at the scene and was indicted for first-degree murder Saturday night. He appeared in court wearing a white paper dress and face mask, and pleaded not guilty.

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