Metro Detroiters share outrage over Buffalo supermarket shooting

Metro Detroiters are among those trying to make sense of the Buffalo, New York, supermarket shooting, one allegedly stoked by racial hatred.

Police said Payton Gendron, who is White, killed 10 people, most of them Black, and wounded three Saturday in a rampage at the Tops Friendly Market. Authorities said the 18-year-old suspect from Conklin, New York, livestreamed the shooting before surrendering.

People hug outside the scene after a shooting at a supermarket on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

MORE: Buffalo supermarket shooting: What do we know so far?

"We're just so saddened by this latest shooting," said the Rev. Charles Williams II, pastor of the Historic King Solomon Church in Detroit and the Michigan director of the civil rights organization the National Action Network on Sunday.

He said he addressed the tragedy during his church service.

"You know as Blacks, we've seen this fear before in the eyes of those who fought against integration and voting rights," said Williams in his sermon Sunday. "But as a people, we will not be moved, they might have hate in their heart but our love tradition keeps us going."

Williams said the National Action Network, headed by the Rev. Al Sharpton, was meeting with Department of Justice officials Sunday about the shooting. Williams said NAN has offered to pay for the funerals of the victims.

Williams said the act is an indication of "racism and fear" that has been fueled by certain political figures since 2009.

"I think the concern is that the environment is just so prime for this," said Williams. "The stoking of racism and fear has spilled over into Charlottesville and now New York."

Democratic U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, a former mayor of Southfield, tweeted Sunday about the shooting.

"Angry & devastated at the racially-motivated terrorist attack in Buffalo last night. My heart goes out to the families who lost a loved one & to a community stricken with grief. ... "Make no mistake: this was an attack on the Black community. We need to call out this hate directly."

Tristan Taylor, one of the organizers of Detroit Will Breathe, which held numerous protests against police use of force in 2020, said there is an "open season on Black people" and that they are more likely to die at the hands of police than White supremacists.

Taylor said nothing can be done individually to stop such deadly attacks but Black people need to band together "collectively" to address problems affecting African American communities. Government officials are leaving them "high and dry" in terms of resources for daily living, he said.

High-profile attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family of Patrick Lyoya, a Black motorist shot and killed after being stopped by a White police officer April 4 in Grand Rapids, called the Buffalo shooting a "horrifying tragedy" on Twitter.

"This white male traveled to a predominantly Black neighborhood to slaughter 10+ innocent souls, allegedly yelling racial slurs during his shooting spree. How did this MONSTER get a gun? How did no one stop this??"

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin tweeted that she reached out to U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, whose district includes parts of Buffalo, and U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, whose district includes Milwaukee, "after the terrible shootings."

"As I learned when my own district had a shooting in Oxford last fall, there is a tragic fraternity of members who have had shootings in their districts," Slotkin tweeted.

Journalist Jemele Hill, a Detroit native who hosts a podcast and is a contributing writer for The Atlantic, tweeted that she is "out of thoughts and prayers. ...

"The point of praying is the hope for something better. And that better is never going to come. If anything, I feel rage and compassion for the people in Buffalo."