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Local organizations condemn mass shooting in Buffalo

Posted at 10:02 PM, May 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 00:23:40-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Several organizations in the Beehive State are responding to the mass shooting that took place at a supermarket in a predominately Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York this weekend.

Eleven of the 13 people who were shot Saturday at the Tops Market were Black. In all, 10 people were killed.

Jeanetta Williams, the president of the Salt Lake branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said she really hates to see all the hatred that continues to take place in our country.

"A person's going to the grocery store on a Saturday morning, going to do the regular chores, and then they don't get to go back home because they've been shot and killed," said Williams.

READ: Salt Lake NAACP condemns 'mainstream bigotry' in wake of Buffalo shooting

The suspected gunman, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, is said to have targeted that area of Buffalo because of its dense African-American population.

Williams said these types of incidents make it hard to feel safe anywhere.

"We just see so many different mass murders... and people being targeted because, you know, the immigrants, the Asian community, the black community," she said. "It has to stop."

READ: 86-year-old among those killed in Buffalo mass shooting; Son says she 'taught us how to love'

Other organizations here in Utah also spoke out against the shooting and the reports of the gunman's lengthy racist manifesto.

The United Jewish Federation of Utah posted on Facebook on Saturday, condemning the violent incident.

They said, in part, that they acknowledge the pain and racism that their partner communities are once again having to endure. They also say they are mourning with the families who have been affected by the vile hatred of racism.

Williams is hoping legislators will put some laws in place to make sure these types of things don't happen again.

"We need to make sure that we can have better gun control, and make sure that the guns are in the hands of people that have gun permits, and not some states have it where anybody can go and buy a gun," she said.

FOX 13 News asked how Williams and the NAACP might ease concerns of their community here. She said they work closely with law enforcement, but she also urges people to be aware of their surroundings. Williams advised that if you see something happening, you should say something.