Buffalo shooting victim Andre Mackneil was picking up cake: family

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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.

Buffalo mass shooting victim Andre Mackneil is seen in an undated photo.
Buffalo mass shooting victim Andre Mackneil was picking up a surprise birthday cake for his grandson.
Facebook / Andre Mackniel Sr.
Buffalo mass shooting victim Andre Mackneil
Buffalo mass shooting victim Andre Mackneil had traveled about 120 miles west from his hometown in Auburn to Buffalo to see his grandson.
Facebook / Andre Mackniel Sr.

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.

Buffalo mass shooting victim Andre Mackneil
Andre Mackneil was among the shoppers who were killed at the store in a predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo.
Facebook / Andre Mackniel Sr.

More coverage on the Buffalo supermarket shooting

An investigator works at the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y., Monday, May 16, 2022.
Authorities have said white supremacist gunman Payton Gendron traveled about 200 miles from his upstate Conklin home to carry out the mass shooting.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation collect evidence and mark bullet holes at the Tops Friendly Markets supermarket following a mass shooting on Monday, May 16, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y.
Members of the FBI collect evidence and mark bullet holes at the Tops Friendly Markets supermarket following a mass shooting on Monday, May 16, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y.
James Keivom

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.

Payton Gendron
Payton Gendron killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket.
Erie County District Attorney’s Office via AP

“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.

People gather near Tops Friendly Markets supermarket following a mass shooting on Sunday, May 15, 2022
People gather near Tops Friendly Markets supermarket following a mass shooting on Sunday, May 15, 2022.
James Keivom
Family and friends of victims of the Tops Friendly Markets supermarket mass shooting gather during a memorial service at True Bethel Baptist Church on Sunday, May 15, 2022
Family and friends of victims of the Tops Friendly Markets supermarket mass shooting gather during a memorial service at True Bethel Baptist Church on Sunday, May 15, 2022.
James Keivom

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.

Victims killed during the Buffalo mass shooting are seen in a photo composite:
(Clockwise from top left) Katherine Massey, Geraldine Talley, Andre Mackneil, Roberta Drury, Aaron Salter Jr., Celestine Chaney, Pearly Young, Heyward Patterson, Ruth Whitfield, Margus Morisson.

“Yesterday she was leaving the nursing home, stopped at the store around the corner when this happened,” Whitfield told The Post on Sunday.

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