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New York Governor Commemorates One-Year Anniversary of Buffalo Supermarket Shooting

New York Governor and Buffalo native Kathy Hochul gave a speech to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the racist Buffalo supermarket shooting that killed 10 people on May 14, 2022.

An 18-year-old white supremacist killed 10 Black people when he opened fire at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo on May 14. Police say he used a Bushmaster XM-15 semiautomatic rifle, which he was able to purchase legally prior to the massacre. The man plead guilty to 15 counts, including 10 counts of first-degree murder, in November of 2022, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in February, 2023.

After the shooting, Hochul signed a total of 10 gun control bills, including measures that raise the minimum age for the purchase of semiautomatic rifles from 18 to 21, and expand licensing requirements for the weapons.

Sunday’s event was held at the Tops Friendly Market location where the shooting took place. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown also spoke, and Senator Chuck Schumer was in attendance. Credit: Governor Kathy Hochul via Storyful

Video transcript

[APPLAUSE]

KATHY HOCHUL: Good morning, fellow Buffalonians. It's a beautiful day. It's Mother's Day.

And the cruel irony behind the fact that it is a day we celebrate a life that comes into this world, making someone a mother, it's also a day we're here to think about those who are no longer with us. It's hard. It's been a really hard year.

And we are so grateful that we had a leader like our mayor who stood up shoulder-to-shoulder with this community, unrelenting in his pursuit to try to heal us and bring us together. And I applaud his leadership at a time when we needed it most. And I want to give another round of applause to our great mayor, Byron Brown.

[APPLAUSE]

Also joined by our Majority Leader, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, in a few moments. Our Congressman, Brian Higgins. My partner in state government, our incredible attorney General Tish James, who has taken on the fight. Because she was here, just like we all came here. And she's taking on the gun manufacturers, and she's taking on the social media companies and saying, stop spreading hate in our country. So thank you, Attorney General James.

Our other partners in state government. Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Tim Kennedy, Sean Ryan, and our Attorney General, our District Attorney. We're all here together. But this is not just one day.

What happened one year ago on a day that was just like this-- it was sunny. People were shopping, buying birthday cakes, bringing home dinner. All the people who came into this store-- and I want to thank John Pearce, because you've done an amazing job in the aftermath. But this is a place where people gathered.

They brought food to nurture their families and continue traditions of sitting around a table as one family. And what I saw in the aftermath was that same sense of one family here in Western New York that made me so proud. We mourned together. We hugged each other. We wept for days and days trying to figure out some sense behind this.

But all I know is we stand here one year later, this building, this neighborhood, this community a testament to the simple fact that hate did not win on that day. The white supremacists did not win on that day. Racism did not win on the day that. The people of Buffalo said that love will come out and be the winner on this day.

[APPLAUSE]

So I am proud of you, my fellow Buffalonians. I am so proud that we can stand up together, united. And I also want to say to the families and those who are here who walked out with their lives, the store employees, the trauma that was inflicted, the emotional harm, we're here to help you heal. This is not just, put up a memorial and we walk away.

We're committed to helping you rise up once again. And the pain that you must feel-- even this year alone, 202 times you watched the news and you saw another community traumatized. Another name on the list of those communities that endured a mass shooting. I know it's hard to step back and say you're going to be OK.

But we're here with you. We're not abandoning you. We are committed to building up our local economy, creating more jobs, giving our kids alternatives, helping our small businesses, ending the food deserts.

We are here for you because that's what we do. Buffalo is a city of not just good neighbors, but a city of love. Thank you, my friends. Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

BRYON BROWN: Since 5/14/2022, in the City of Buffalo, all of us hoped and prayed it would never happen again. But since that time, there have been over 650 additional mass shootings in the United States of America. What happened in Buffalo, and then shortly thereafter what happened in Uvalde, was the emphasis-- empath-- well, I can't say it right now. But you know what I mean.

- That's what I said.

BRYON BROWN: Was-- [LAUGHS] was--