Husband still unaware wife was shot

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Husband still unaware wife was shot

The elderly husband of a Buffalo shooting victim was still unaware of his wife’s fate on Sunday, the couple’s son told The Post, describing his mom as a devoted matriarch who raised four children.

“We are waiting on my sister to arrive and we are going to go there collectively,” said Garnell Whitfield Jr., whose mother Ruth Whitfield perished in the mass shooting at a local supermarket.

“She was his caretaker. He’s been in the nursing home for the last eight years.”

One of the ten victims killed during a shooting in Buffalo, Whitfield would go to the nursing home every day to make sure her 88-year-old husband Garnell Whitfield Sr. was cared for.

“Shaving him, cutting his nails, cleaning his ears, cutting his hair, washing him, bathing him…making sure his room was decorated for holidays,” Whitfield said while sitting at his dining room table.

“She dedicated her entire life to her family but specifically the last eight years to him.”

After visiting the nursing home Saturday, Whitfield said her mother stopped by the Tops Supermarket around the corner. When he heard about the shooting, he tried calling her a few times but she didn’t answer.

The husband of Buffalo shooting victim Ruth Whitfield hasn't been told of his wife's murder yet, according to their son.
The husband of Buffalo shooting victim Ruth Whitfield hasn’t been told of his wife’s murder yet, according to their son.
Whitfield was one of ten people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo on May 14, 2022.
Whitfield was one of ten people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo on May 14, 2022.
AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

He then stopped by her house and saw her car wasn’t there.

“I went to the scene and…I saw there was a car of the same color as hers in the handicapped parking which is where she would have parked,” Whitfield said.

“I’m not good. Not good,” Whitfield said. “My mom was murdered. How am I supposed to feel? My mom was murdered.”

Whitfield described his mother as a wonderful person who loved her family unconditionally. Whitfield called the stay-at-home mother of four his “hero.”

Whitfield's husband Garnell Whitfield Sr. has lived in a nursing home for the past eight years.
Whitfield’s husband Garnell Whitfield Sr. has lived in a nursing home for the past eight years.
Whitfield visited her husband every day to make sure he was care for, her son Garnell Jr. said.
Whitfield visited her husband every day to make sure he was cared for, her son Garnell Jr. said.

“She’s the kind of person who would have tried to dissuade the gunman from doing what he was doing, that’s who she was,” Whitfield said. “She wasn’t afraid of power, she wasn’t afraid of death. I can only imagine what her last moments were like. It’s devastating, man. She’s our backbone. She’s our mom. She’s the strongest person I’ll know in my life and probably will ever know again.”

He said the shooter, Payton Gendron, 18, was a “product of our America.”

Authorities said Saturday that Gendron’s actions were racially motivated. Of the 13 people he shot, 11 were black, according to authorities.

Alleged shooter Payton Gendron was racially motivated, according to police.
Alleged shooter Payton Gendron was racially motivated, according to police.
Erie County DA

“She raised us to be productive God-fearing people and this flies in the face of everything we were taught to believe,” Whitfield said. “This 18-year-old guy from nowhere shows up and kills my mother and these other people. Where did this hate come from? The truth of the matter is he was birthed by the system. He’s a product of our America, that’s who this guy is.”

“We’ve been brutalized, victimized, scarred,” Whitfield said. “Our lives are forever changed.”

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