A good guy with a gun attempted to stop a mass killer on Saturday at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
Aaron Salter, Jr., 55, was working as a security guard at Tops Friendly Market when a hate-filled 18-year-old began shooting patrons with an AR-style rifle in what authorities are describing as a “racially motivated attack.”
Salter, a retired Buffalo police officer who served the city for 30 years, engaged the suspect with his own firearm.
Though Salter landed a hit on the suspect, the body armor the suspect was wearing stopped the bullet from penetrating, say investigators.
Salter was then fatally shot by the suspect, an individual who had previously been investigated by state police for making violent statements.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn hailed Salter as a “hero” in a Sunday interview with NBC’s Willie Geist.
“He is a hero (and) has been a hero for a number of years in this community,” Flynn said.
Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia echoed Flynn’s assessment.
“The bravery by the Buffalo police officers … I just cannot say enough about their actions,” said Garcia in a local press conference.
“I can’t say enough about our retired fellow colleague, Aaron Salter, who confronted this individual to save the lives of others,” he continued. “May he rest in peace.”
Salter is survived by three children. One of his children, his son Aaron Salter III, spoke to The Daily Beast about his father’s actions on Saturday.
“Today is a shock,” he told the publication. “I’m pretty sure he saved some lives today. He’s a hero.”
In total, 10 people were killed on Saturday and three others were wounded.
The suspect, who was not from the Buffalo area, drove in from Conklin, NY, three hours away to perpetrate the attack. He specifically targeted the Tops location on Jefferson Ave. because of its urban setting.
I don’t share the names of mass shooters because they are seeking fame & giving them attention fuels more shootings. But I do share the names of who combat them. This is Aaron Salter, a retired Buffalo police officer, who died fighting the mass shooter. He’s a hero. pic.twitter.com/zqGor9JzQq— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) May 16, 2022
The suspect is now being charged with one count of murder in the first degree. Other charges may be added as the investigation is ongoing.
“My office is working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners in law enforcement into potential terrorism and hate crimes. This is an active investigation and additional charges may be filed,” said DA Flynn.