by Susan Fried
Content Warning: This article contains discussion of gun violence.
Editor’s Note: It seems incomprehensible that while still reeling from the Buffalo, New York, killings on May 14, another tragedy took place yesterday when 19 elementary school children and two teachers were slain in Texas. The epidemic of gun violence and the targeting of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and People of Color is one of the most devastating and horrific elements in our country. The Emerald recognizes these harrowing events and acknowledges the difficulty in reporting on what feels like a constant cycle of tragedy.
After recently wrapping up our partnership with the Beloved campaign, which examines gun violence as a public health crisis, we will remain committed to covering this issue of critical importance to our local communities and beyond.
A week after an 18-year-old self-proclaimed white supremacist shot 13, killing 10 Black, mostly elderly people in Buffalo, New York, Seattle held two vigils on Saturday, May 21, to honor those whose lives were taken.
In the early afternoon, several dozen people gathered at Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Memorial Park to say the names of the victims and let the people of Buffalo know that people thousands of miles away in Seattle, Washington, honored the lives of the Buffalo 10.
Stand in Solidarity Seattle was organized by the Rev. Harriett Walden and featured speeches by community members, honoring the victims of the Buffalo massacre.
Each speaker was given an individual victim’s name to highlight that person’s life and contributions to the community of Buffalo. Dr. Linda Smith spoke about the oldest victim, Ruth Whitfield, 86, who had stopped at the Tops Friendly Markets grocery store after visiting her husband at a nursing home. Her husband had been in the nursing home for eight years and she still stopped by to help cut his hair, bathe him, and decorate his room for holidays.
The Rev. LaVerne Hall pointed out that although many of the victims were elderly, they still had much to contribute and that they were beloved members of their family and community. Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz, the Rev. Carey Anderson from First AME, Michael Ramos from the Church Council of Greater Seattle, and Alison Holcomb with the ACLU of Washington, along with several community activists, spoke at the event.
Not far from MLK Park, following a day of celebrating the life of Malcolm X, a shrine with the photos of the victims of the Buffalo massacre and dozens of flickering candles was set up in front of the stage at Jimi Hendrix Park. As people gathered around it and Edd Hampton with the Blaq Elephant Party said a few words, a rainbow appeared over the gathering. The crowd stood in silence for a few moments to honor the lives of the people lost in Buffalo on May 14, 2022.
Those who were slain are:
Roberta A. Dury, 32, Buffalo, NY
Margus D. Morrison, 52, Buffalo, NY
Celestine Chaney, 65, Buffalo, NY
Geraldine Talley, 62, Buffalo, NY
Katherine Massey, 72, Buffalo, NY
Pearl Young, 77, Buffalo, NY
Andre Mackniel, 53, Auburn, NY
Aaron Salter, 55, Lockport, NY
Heyward Patterson, 67, Buffalo, NY
Ruth Whitfield, 86, Buffalo, NY
Those who sustained injuries and have since recovered are:
Christopher Braden, 55, Lackawanna, NY
Jennifer Warrington, 50, Tonawanda, NY
Zaire Goodman, 20, Buffalo, NY
Susan Fried is a 40-year veteran photographer. Her early career included weddings, portraits, and commercial work — plus, she’s been The Skanner News’ Seattle photographer for 25 years. Her images have appeared in the University of Washington’s The Daily, The Seattle Globalist, Crosscut, and many more. She’s been an Emerald contributor since 2015. Follow her on Instagram @fried.susan.
📸 Featured Image: Amia, 14, lights candles on a shrine at Jimi Hendrix Park on May 21 to honor the 10 victims of a white supremacist murderer in Buffalo, New York. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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