Youngest victim of Buffalo, NY, mass shooting laid to rest

Roberta Drury, a 32-year-old woman who was the youngest of 10 black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo, NY, was remembered at her funeral on Saturday for her kindness and welcoming nature as the city marked a week since the mass shooting .

“Robbie”, as he was known, grew up in the Syracuse, NY area and moved to Buffalo ten years ago to help his brother in his battle with leukemia. She was shot on May 14 while traveling to buy groceries at Tops Friendly Market targeted by a white gunman.

“There are no words to fully express the depth and magnitude of this tragedy,” said Fr. Nicholas Spano, parochial vicar of Assumption Church, during the funeral service in Syracuse, not far from the where Drury grew up in Cicero, NY.

“Last Saturday, May 14, our corner of the world changed forever,” he said. “Lives have ended. Dreams have been shattered and our state has been plunged into mourning.”

Drury’s family wrote in their obituary that she “couldn’t walk a few steps without meeting a new friend”.

123 seconds of silence

“Robbie always made a big fuss of someone when she saw them, always making sure they felt noticed and loved,” her sister, Amanda, told The Associated Press via text message before the service.

After the funeral, at Buffalo’s Tops store, the mood was a mixture of tension and somber reflection as the city marked a week since the racist massacre.

Michael Jordan and Heather Delorm, friends of Drury, visit a memorial for the victims of the supermarket shooting outside Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo on Saturday. Tops was encouraging people to join his stores in a moment of silence to honor the victims at 2:30 p.m., the approximate time of the attack a week earlier. (Joshua Bessex/Associated Press)

At 2:30 p.m. sharp, as the gunman opened fire, those who gathered and laid flowers near the corner where the victims were memorialized observed a moment of silence. A dozen workers lined up outside the entrance to the Tops store. Nearby, mourners wept.

At the same time, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and other elected officials, along with Tops Chairman John Persons, nodded on the steps of City Hall for 123 seconds to mark the length of the ‘offensive. Places of worship across the city were encouraged to ring their bells 13 times in honor of the 10 killed and three injured.

Joshua Kellick, a mental health and addictions counselor in Buffalo, said victim Geraldine Talley, 62, was a friend. She worked as a secretary in his office, but she was the glue that held their family together, he said outside the store.

“She was nothing but loving and giving. She went out of her way to help everyone. She was a mother, a grandmother to everyone, without really being that,” Kellick said, who reunited with several former colleagues of Talley. observe the minute of silence.

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As Drury was laid to rest, Spano said mourners would be remembered for his “kindness, … love for family and friends, his perseverance, his tenacity and above all that smile that could light up a room. “.

She was the second victim of a gunshot to be eulogized.

A private service was held Friday for Heyward Patterson, the beloved deacon at a church near the supermarket. More funerals were planned throughout the coming week.

A candlelight vigil was scheduled for later that evening.