A lot was taken from the Buffalo, New York, community on Saturday, May 14. Peace. Security. Ten fathers, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, neighbors, and community members.
The racist attack at Tops Supermarket and the man who traveled across the state to murder Black people couldn’t wrest one thing from victims’ family and friends, however. They still have their memories — stories about their loved ones that go far beyond their ages and occupations or where they lived. And in those loved ones, in some respect at least, these people live on.
Below, family and friends shared with Rolling Stone how they remember the people they lost — and what the world needs to know, above all, about these people.
Katherine Massey, as Remembered by Her Niece, Dawn Massey
The day before it happened, she had just gone with my uncle to spend over $100 on toys at Family Dollar for the children for the next holiday or whatever. The whole bag was toys for the kids, stuff they can play with outside, for the warm holidays. Everybody knows she would come with the things that she made, as far as baked goods and food. But she would have other bags, pool noodles that the kids could play with, beach balls and badminton, and soccer nets. Some of everything. She was literally like Santa Claus with the sack.
Wherever she went, people loved her. I’ve never in 30 years of living seen her upset, other than the passing of my grandparents, and my father and her siblings. But I’ve never seen her upset, sad, down, moody, aggravated — nothing. She was the matriarch.
She was just such a pure, beautiful soul. I can’t believe I just said “was.” But yes, her spirit will live on, but it’s just so crazy and unfortunate and I can’t even understand it.
She always said she had a task or day: Whatever was right, whatever needs to be done if nobody else was speaking about it, she was gonna speak on it, because she loved the community she grew up in. And she loved her people. That was her, she cared.
There were just not too many people like her, and there’s not gonna be another one. –As told to Cheyenne Roundtree
Andre Mackniel, as Remembered by His Son’s Godmother, Tammy Davis
[Andre’s] fiancée Tracey had some bad relationships in the past; she wanted to kind of keep it low-key for a bit. Then finally she’s like, “Tam, I want you to finally get to really meet [Andre].” I was like, “All right, great.” So I bought them tickets for the State Fair back in 2018. We wandered around the State Fair, got to know some of his likes and dislikes. Of course, he likes Syracuse University teams and watching basketball and football. Any sport you could probably muster up.
And that’s when they told me that day that they were expecting a baby. And then months later, they honored me by asking me to be their son’s godmother. He was a good man, a good friend. Wonderful father. Loved that little boy to death. That day he was going to the supermarket to get stuff for the birthday party they were throwing him that day.
He really loved and cared about Tracey. I was honored again when they told me they had gotten engaged and I was asked to be in their wedding. Unfortunately, that’ll now never happen.
I separated and then divorced from my now ex-husband and he and Tracey were right there to give me nothing but support. They showed up at my job and were like, “Tam let’s get your mind off things, go for lunch.” And Andre would wrap his arms around me and they’d tell me they love me. – As told to Cheyenne Roundtree
Margus D. Morrison, as Remembered by His Brother, Frederick Morrison
I’m his baby brother. Every day was a good moment; every day was full of energy. Last time I saw him was Friday. We were just talking because he had to go back to work.
His best quality was trying to tell jokes that weren’t funny. Richard Prior — oh, he was a big fan of him. Bernie Mac. Martin Lawrence. Steve Harvey.
All my memories of him were good because we played basketball together. We were on the basketball court on a daily basis.
He was the first person who showed me how to ride a bike. He said, “You’re not gonna put no training wheels on this bike. You gotta fall and get back up. I’m going to teach you how to ride it. You going to fall then you going to get back up.”
He was a father of seven. Always with his kids. He loved his kids. A family man, a father. My brother was a very good dude. Nobody should be hit and slaughtered like that in the street like trash. The city of Buffalo will heal slowly. – As told to Andrea Marks
This is a developing story…