By Philip Ward
May 14, 2023 marks the one year anniversary of the Tops shooting in Buffalo, NY that killed 10 and injured three. Some of the people that were impacted the most by the shooting reflected on the tragic event almost a year later.
Mark Talley, a Buffalo resident, remembered calling his mother Geraldine Talley on that day. “No answer, called her boyfriend, no answer, it was especially weird when I called my mother and she did not answer, she would usually call me right back but did not,” Talley said.
Talley did receive a call but it was from a police officer on the scene with tragic news. “Basically said sorry to inform you but your mother’s body has been identified as being in the grocery store” Talley said.
Talley is now the founder and director of a nonprofit organization, Agents for Advocacy. They say their mission is to combat racism and promote socioeconomic equality for everyone regardless of color or background. Talley also wrote a book, “5/14: The Day the Devil Came to Buffalo.”
On the day of the shooting Buffalo Mayor, Byron Brown called the shooting the “worst nightmare that any community can face.”
“It was a painful day,” Brown said.
Brown recalled leaving a baseball game and arriving at the Tops parking lot. “There were three bodies laid out on the ground covered by sheets and I could see the bottom of one of the sheets getting red with blood, it was pretty traumatic,” Brown said.
Brown said when talking with the families of the victims, “you approach them with love and support, you hurt with them, you hurt for them, and you are hurting yourself,” he said.
Buffalo resident Grady Lewis said he had a conversation with the Tops shooter and immediately had a bad feeling. “I knew he did not belong here I did not have any idea of course but I knew I needed to do something,” Lewis said.
Jahlya McKnight, a Buffalo resident, said he also spoke with the shooter and tries his best to not relive that day. “I have not really gotten over it I just more or less brush it to the side because it is something that I can not think about everyday, I still got to live my life they way I got to live my life,” McKnight said.
“This is sad for me, a year gone by, it feels like it has been two weeks ago for me so this is just horrible and I just want people to study and read and learn themselves so they do not have to accept things,” Lewis said.