One of the 10 slain victims of Buffalo’s hate-fueled rampage was picking up a surprise birthday cake for his grandson when he was killed, grieving relatives say.
Andre Mackneil, 53, had traveled about 120 miles west from his hometown in Auburn to Buffalo to see his grandson, who lives in the city — and stopped first at a local Tops Friendly Market on Saturday afternoon to buy the treat to surprise him, family told the Associated Press.
“He never came out with the cake,” said Mackneil’s cousin, Clarissa Alston-McCutcheon, adding that such a kind gesture wasn’t uncommon for him. “Just a loving and caring guy. Loved family. Was always there for his family.”
Mackneil was among the shoppers who were killed at the store in a predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo, where authorities have said white supremacist gunman Payton Gendron, 18, traveled about 200 miles from his upstate Conklin home to carry out the mass shooting. The slaughter also killed victims such as a church deacon and hero supermarket security guard.
Another victim, Geraldine Talley, 62, was doing her grocery shopping with her fiancé when she was fatally shot, her niece Lakesha Chapman told CNN.
“She’s sweet, sweet, you know, the life of the party,” Chapman told the network. “She was the person who always put our family reunion together, she was an avid baker … mother of two beautiful children.”
Talley was simply “Auntie Gerri” to Chapman, who lives in Atlanta but traveled to Buffalo to be with relatives after the mass shooting.
More coverage on the Buffalo supermarket shooting
Chapman said Talley’s family didn’t learn she had died in the attack until five hours later. The victim was at the front of the supermarket when the gunfire started, while her fiancé had gone to grab orange juice, Chapman said.
“We’re outraged,” Chapman said. “This is not, obviously, the first racially triggered attack in America. However, it is the first that hits our home.”
Talley’s death has left behind the “most numbing feeling ever,” Chapman said.
“She was shopping, and this man comes out of his neighborhood to attack because of her skin color, because of her zip code, you know, because it was predominantly black,” Chapman had told CNN on Sunday. “She was innocent. And it’s — there’s no words to describe it.”
Also killed in the shooting was Margus Morrison, 52, a father of three, the mother of his children told WKBW.
The 86-year-old mother of Buffalo’s former fire commissioner was murdered in the massacre also, as was the 77-year-old head of a local food pantry.
Three other people were wounded in the attack.
In all, 11 of the victims were black while two were white, authorities said.
“You don’t expect this when your mother goes grocery shopping,” said Pamela Pritchett, whose mother, Pearl Young, 77, was among the dead.
Ruth Whitfield, the mother of former Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield Jr., was also shopping at the supermarket when she was gunned down, allegedly by Gendron — a self-proclaimed white supremacist who posted a 180-page manifesto before the attack.
“Yesterday she was leaving the nursing home, stopped at the store around the corner when this happened,” Whitfield told The Post on Sunday.