A 20-year-old employee who was wounded in the mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket survived a bullet that pierced his neck while he was collecting shopping carts in the parking lot, his family said.
Zaire Goodman was among three people wounded in what authorities say was a “racially motivated” attack by accused gunman, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, who faces first-degree murder charges in the deaths of 10 people.
“A couple inches to the left or the right and he wouldn’t be here,” Goodman’s mom, Zeneta Everhart, told the Buffalo News. “I know his life was spared for a reason, and he has to find out what that reason is.”
Everhart, the director of diversity and inclusion in the office of state Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, said the suspect shot her son at close range before killing a woman he was helping with a cart.
When the gunman moved on, Goodman fled with another employee and called his mother, she said.
He was brought to Erie County Medical Center, but miraculously, he didn’t even need stitches, Everhardt said. He has since been discharged and is recovering at home.
“He’s in good spirits,” Everhart said about her son, who has autism, and has worked at Tops for almost two years. “He’s a free-spirited kid. This happened to him and now he’s done with it.”
She added that after he recovers, he may be ready to return to Villa Maria College and pursue a degree in creative writing.
Goodman’s grandfather, Charles Everhart Sr., who attended a Sunday service at True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo, told the Buffalo News: “I thank God that my grandson is still here.”
The two others who were wounded in the rampage were Jennifer Warrington, 50, a pharmacist at Top who was released from the hospital Saturday, and Christopher Braden, who was listed in stable condition, sources told The News.