Almost three years before his father died trying to save lives, Aaron Salter III took to Facebook to voice his fears that America was becoming too dangerous for its people — little knowing his father would be a victim one day.
Aaron Salter Jr. died Saturday trying to stop 18-year-old Payton Gendron from killing innocent shoppers and workers in a Buffalo-area Tops supermarket. The retired Buffalo police officer shot at Gendron, who was protected by body armor. Gendron killed Salter after an exchange of gunshots. Ten people were killed in the attack, and three others were wounded.
On August 9, 2019, Aaron Salter III responded on Facebook to an August 3, 2019, shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, that left 23 people dead.
“If i hear another story of someone mass shooing innocent people or like yesterday the 20 year old in Missouri who when to Walmart with and assault rifle and 100 rounds and recorded himself making comments to people shopping I’m gonna loose my mind,” he posted on Facebook. The Missouri incident involved a man who went to a Walmart fully armed in what he called a test of his Second Amendment rights, according to the Associated Press.
Salter wrote, “we can’t even do everyday s*** without having to watch our backs and that’s scary af!”
The security guard who attempted to stop a mass shooter in Buffalo is Aaron Salter
Aaron Salter attempted to stop the shooter by firing at the shooter, Payton Gendron. However, Gendron was wearing body armor and was not harmed by the shot. Gendron returned fire, killing Salter pic.twitter.com/LjdnXNhz5w
— The Circle (@TheCirc92826597) May 15, 2022
Then came the haunting words about what was to come.
“The sad thing is I feel like a crazy close to home is gonna do something soon and I’m not ready for that. We as people of the so called USA need to do better this s*** is nuts,” he wrote.
Witness Grady Lewis said he was outside the store when the incident began but had a front-row seat for its conclusion, according to CNN.
Can’t believe a mass shooting happened in my city 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 pray for Buffalo
— BENNY THE BUTCHER (@BennyBsf) May 14, 2022
“He came out. He put the gun to his head, to his chin. Then he dropped it and took off his bulletproof vest, then got on his hands and knees and put his hands behind his back,” Lewis said. “I thought they were going to shoot him, but they didn’t shoot him.”
“I still don’t even believe it happened … that a person would go into a supermarket full of people,” he said. “It was horrible. It was really horrible.”
Gendron left behind a manifesto about his crime, according to The New York Times.
In it, he said he had been “passively preparing” for the attack for years, as he amassed ammunition and tactical gear.
The defendant, who was allegedly wearing tactical gear and armed with an assault weapon, is accused of intentionally killing ten people at the grocery store on Jefferson Avenue. Three people were injured by gunfire.
MORE INFO: https://t.co/Tkb1QDZ5Dw
— Erie County District Attorney’s Office (@DAErieCountyNY) May 15, 2022
In January, he said plans “actually got serious” for the attack, which took place more than 200 miles from Gendron’s home in Conklin, a small New York town near the Pennsylvania border.
Gendron has been charged with first-degree murder.
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