The first of the expected funerals for each of the 10 fatal victims from last weekend’s racist mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo is scheduled to begin Friday as an apparent legal strategy forward was being made clear amid widespread mourning and demands for justice for the white supremacist massacre.
Hayward Patterson, 67, was set to be laid to rest on Friday. The homegoing services are closed to the press at Patterson’s family’s request as his loved ones mourn the loss of someone remembered for his generous spirit who was also a deacon at State Tabernacle Church of God in Buffalo.
“He was an all-around person, with a good heart, good spirit, very mild, and a sense of humor,” Patterson’s former wife, Tirzah, told the Buffalo News. “He was the best deacon here; we had an excellent deacon. He’s going to be missed in this area and at home. He was a good man.”
Patterson’s funeral is set to come one day after civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who has been retained by the family of several shooting victims, said he would seek accountability for the shooting that was motivated by racist, anti-Black hatred from 18-year-old suspect Payton Gendron. All 10 people who were killed are Black.
During a press conference on Thursday alongside families of victims, Crump said he would sue “everybody” involved in the shooting at Tops Friendly Market on Saturday.
“We absolutely intend on going after the gun manufacturers, the gun distributors and anybody else who was an accomplice to this young 18-year-old white supremacist,” Crump, who represents the families of fatal victims Andre Mackneil, Geraldine Talley and Ruth Whitfield, told reporters at Antioch Baptist Church in Buffalo. “We intend on going after everybody that was an accomplice to this young monster killing these innocent people.”
The “everybody” who Crump referenced could include everyone from Gendron’s parents to his friends to his other family members to even those on various social media channels who were made aware of the shooting in advance.
Patterson’s funeral on Friday will be held at the Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church in Buffalo and is the first of seven that have announced dates and times for the services.
The others follow below in chronological order, courtesy of local news outlet WGRZ.
Service for Roberta Drury, a 32-year-old from Syracuse, will take place at the Fergerson Funeral Home in North Syracuse on Friday. Her burial is scheduled for Saturday. Drury was reportedly in Buffalo last weekend to visit her family.
Katherine ‘Kat’ Massey
Katherine “Kat” Massey, 72, will have her funeral on Monday at the Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Buffalo.
Aaron Salter Jr.
The funeral for former longtime Buffalo police officer Aaron Salter Jr. will be held Tuesday at the Amigone Funeral Home in Buffalo. Salter Jr. was working as a security guard at Tops Friendly Market when the shooting attack happened. A wake for the 55-year-old hailed as a hero for saving lives by returning fire at Gendron is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
A funeral for 65-five-year-old Celestine Chaney is scheduled for Tuesday in Buffalo.
Chaney’s son, Wayne Jones, told the Buffalo News that his mother loved the strawberry shortcake sold at Tops Friendly Market. Chaney was with her older sister at Tops Friendly Market on Saturday to buy some of those same miniature strawberry shortcakes when the shooting started.
Pearl Young’s funeral is set for Wednesday in Buffalo. The elderly grandmother is being remembered fondly as a pillar of the community.
Margus Morrison, a 52-year-old father of three, will be laid to rest in Buffalo next Friday, May 27.
We will update this article with more information about the other victim’s funerals as it is made public.