BUFFALO, N.Y. — A year after a gunman killed 10 people and injured three others at a western New York supermarket, the city of Buffalo will mark the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting with a moment of silence and the ringing of church bells.
The normal pace at the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo was shattered when an 18-year-old gunman, dressed in a combat outfit and toting an AR-15, entered the store and began shooting.
On Sunday, church bells will toll at 2:28 p.m. EDT to honor the victims of the May 14, 2022 shooting, The Associated Press reported. There will also be a memorial church service at the Emil Christian Fellowship at 6 p.m. EDT, WGRZ-TV reported.
“The racially motivated mass shooting shook our community to its core,” Mayor Byron Brown said. “It was the day the unthinkable happened,”
The remembrance began on Saturday with a community gathering at the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavilion, WGRZ reported. People will gather at the newly opened supermarket on Sunday, hoping to continue the healing process.
Mark Talley, the son of 63-year-old Geraldine Talley, who died in the shooting, told WIVB-TV that he had not seen much change since the shooting.
“The East Side after 5/14 is the same East Side of Buffalo as it was prior to 5/14,” Mark Talley, who wrote a book called “5/14 : The Day the Devil Came to Buffalo,” told the television station.
The horror remains.
“Unfortunately, this is the one-year anniversary. Even saying ‘anniversary’ kind of seems too strong to say regarding this weekend, but it’s the one-year anniversary of the Tops terrorist attack,” Mark Talley told the television station. “It’s kind of a numbing experience knowing this is the weekend your mother died, but this weekend, for everything that’s going on in the community on the micro level, it’s showing a lot of love that residents on the East Side have with each other.”
President Joe Biden honored the lives of those killed in Buffalo in an op-ed published Sunday in USA Today. He called on Congress and state legislative leaders to act by banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requiring background checks for all gun sales, and repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, according to the newspaper.
“The reality is you never move on,” Jaclyn Schildkraut, executive director of Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, told The Buffalo News. “You move forward. The minute that first bullet was fired everybody was thrown off the trajectory of their normal. They have to relearn how to exist in a new normal.”
Rose Wysocki returned to work at Tops when it reopened three months after the shooting, the News reported. She left and worked at a different location after visiting a therapist, who told her that returning to the same store only brought back the horrific memories.
“It took a lot. It took a lot of people to convince me that it’s not a sign of weakness. That it’s a sign of strength,” Wyoscki told the newspaper. “They said I’ll never be able to heal if I just kept forcing myself to go back there.
“I can’t stand when people say to you: ‘Just move on.’ You don’t understand until you go through it. It’s not that easy to just move on. I wish I could.”
The gunman pleaded guilty to murder and other charges and was sentenced to life in prison without parole in February, the AP reported. A federal case against him is pending.