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Tops shooting survivors are not getting the help they need, says activist starting Go Fund Me page

Signs and balloons are attached to the fence surrounding the Jefferson Avenue Tops Market May 21, 2022, where the racist mass shooting took place one week earlier.
Mike Desmond
A news conference is held Aug. 14, 2022, for help for victims of the Tops Market massacre who say they aren't getting it.

There’s nearly $5 million in the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund, but a group of survivors and activists says the money isn’t going out fast enough for those who need it and those who need help and aren’t getting it.

That’s why activist Myles Carter has started a GoFundMe page to raise more money and had four of those victims at a news conference Sunday in Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. They talked about struggling to make it when they just can’t go to work.

“It's basically every-day money, gas money and all of that, money for food, money for urban costs, everyday money," said survivor Kishia Douglas. "I was working and I had that before this incident and now I don't. I'm just trying to figure out after this fund: How are we supposed to live? How are we supposed to continue?”

Carter said there are others.

“Those individuals sitting with me today and many more have not been helped in the way that we were supposed to help them with the money that was raised and with the funds and resources that were coming into the community," he said.

The heart-rending part of the news conference was Robia Gary talking about what she went through inside Tops, watching retired Buffalo Police Officer Aaron Salter killed as he tried to fend off the raging gunman and then while protecting her daughter and facing the shooter herself.

“Told me I should die and I begged for my life because I had my daughter up under me. I begged," Gary said. "I'm begging a child. He's younger than my boy and I'm begging a child, like I'm sorry to say this, I thought I was an old slave begging to not die. God must have heard my prayers because that young man said, 'Oh well, I guess I won't.'”

Carter is holding a meeting Tuesday evening in the same church to help people fill out the forms seeking assistance from the survivors fund.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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