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A retired police officer who was one of 10 people killed in the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York on Saturday afternoon is being hailed a “hero” by the city’s police department.
Retired Buffalo police officer Aaron Salter was killed at Tops Markets grocery store while trying to protect others from shooter, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, according to reports.
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When Gendron entered the store, Salter, who worked as a security guard at the store, shot him with his gun multiple times. However, the shooter wore armored plates that deflected bullets. Gendron then shot Salter.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Salter was “a hero in our eyes,” WIVB-TV Buffalo reported.
The police department contacted Salter’s family to offer their condolences.
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“I had the pleasure of knowing him, a wonderful guy, very respected, very appreciated. It’s just horrible. It’s tragic. I don’t know what other words to describe him,” said the president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, John Evans, according to the local outlet.
Salter was one of two people who died in the shooting to be identified. Ruth Whitfield, 86, was also killed in the shooting.
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In addition to the 10 people who were killed, three others were injured in Saturday’s incident.
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The shooter is charged with first degree murder and pleaded not guilty Saturday night.