BUFFALO, N.Y. (NewsNation) — Aaron Salter was a beloved community member and security guard who died protecting the shoppers in the town he cherished.
The former Buffalo police officer fired multiple times at a gunman who was opened fire at a Buffalo store this weekend. Salter’s bullets struck the gunman’s armor-plated vest at least once. The bullet didn’t pierce the vest, and Salter, 55, was shot and killed.
Kimberly Beaty was a friend of Salter’s and worked with him at the Buffalo Police Department. Beaty said Salter loved his job and took his skills as a police officer into his new job as a security guard.
“He engaged a suspect and he slowed down a horror that was happening at Tops, and he saved a lot of lives,” Beaty said. “He’s a hero. He was a hero when he put the uniform on and he died.”
Salter was one of 10 killed in an attack whose victims represented a cross-section of life in the predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo. They were gunned down by a white man who authorities say showed up at the store with the “express purpose” of killing Black people, one of whom was Salter. Three others were wounded.
“We’ve lost so many people in our community, people in the neighborhood where I grew up, the neighborhood where I worked. The pain is very difficult to explain, this is horrific,” Beaty said. “It’s emotionally taxing physically and mentally. We’re dealing with a lot of pain here in the city of Buffalo.”
You can watch Beaty’s full interview with “Morning in America” above.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.