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Tops mass shooting families react to federal charges against suspect

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland arrived in Buffalo on Wednesday morning to visit the site of the Tops mass shooting and to discuss 26 new federal charges.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Tops Market store on Jefferson Avenue is not where some of the families wish to mourn.

But down the street on Wednesday morning, they met with the U.S. Attorney General inside the Apollo and learned details that will take this case to federal court.

"It's weird to see it in black and white, so that was kind of the hardest part ... reading in black and white, on paper, what was done," said Andrea Cox, and daughter of Andrew Mackniel, one of the 10 people killed in the Tops mass shooting that happened on May 14.

Andre Mackniel was in Tops buying a cake for his son's third birthday that day. Three other people were wounded in the attack.

"It was nice to be able to see exactly what he's going to be facing on the federal level," Cox said about the new federal charges revealed Wednesday. "Also glad to know the federal investigation will not interrupt the state investigation, so he will be charged times two."

Ten people killed, three people wounded, and many traumatized by what happened on May 14.

At 86 years old, Ruth Whitfield was the oldest victim. Her family has been very vocal about this racially fueled crime, including son Garnell Whitfield Jr.

"Life has not been fair. We're Black. Life has never been fair in America for Black people. Never, OK? That's the conversation we should be having, OK? This didn't just start," Whitfield Jr. said.

He calls white supremacists a cancer, and the actions of the shooter and why he did it, as outlined in the criminal complaint, is exactly what Whitfield is referring to.

"They used to wear hoods and protect their identity," Whitfield Jr. said. "Now they're streaming it on Facebook Live. They've been emboldened, and they've been emboldened by people in high places by system. We've got to do something about that."

   

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