Kat Massey demanded gun control for years, yet died in a mass shooting

Dorothy S. Bass

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Almost a yr back, Katherine “Kat” Massey penned a letter to the editor of The Buffalo Information.

It tackled the killing of a Erie County legislator’s cousin, who was gunned down outside the house the legislator’s district office environment.

Massey, a staunch community advocate who invested a long time of her lifestyle battling for Buffalo’s Black citizens, referred to as on the federal govt to deal with the trafficking of illegal handguns, which she said ended up “the major culprit” powering Buffalo’s gun difficulties.

The capturing, she claimed, was “another intestine-wrenching account of the escalating gun violence in Buffalo and lots of big U.S. towns.”

Massey, 72, was shot and killed by an 18-yr-aged gunman Saturday as she shopped for food stuff at a Buffalo Tops Friendly Marketplaces keep in close proximity to her neighborhood. The racially-inspired attack, staged in a principally Black community, left 10 useless and a few extra wounded.

Massey championed the properly-remaining of a community of loved ones, neighbors, pupils and fellow advocates in an understated but formidable way — usually through her talent for creating, good friends reported.

“Kat took her God-supplied imaginative writing ability, and she coupled that with a tranquil spirit that, paired alongside one another, wound up exhibiting in an exceptionally impressive way with out shouting or menacing,” explained Sherry Sherrill, 56, of Buffalo. Sherrill is the oldest daughter of Betty Jean Grant, a previous Erie County Legislator and a close buddy of Massey’s for decades.

Massey, along with Grant and Sherrill, was a aspect of a team identified as We Are Girls Warriors, a community nonprofit aimed at helping historically economically-deprived people and their children “by aiding the upliftment and empowerment of the neighborhoods and communities,” according to the group’s Fb web site.

People embrace outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 15, 2022.

People embrace outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., on May possibly 15, 2022.

She was always willing to have a discussion with Grant about the community’s wants, Sherrill reported, incorporating that she was specially targeted on the problems of gentrification, gun control, education and empowerment between community residents.

“She was our go-to particular person when we required an belief-editorial, but we wanted it fast and effective — Kat was our girl,” Sherrill explained.

Massey’s sister, Barbara Massey, waited outdoors the Tops retail outlet for hrs Saturday, in hopes that her sister would return mobile phone phone calls, the Buffalo Information wrote Massey explained her sister was “a wonderful soul.”

Takesha and her husband, Shawn Leonard, of Buffalo came to the Tops Friendly Market mass shooting site on May 14, 2022, in support of their neighbors and Buffalo community.

Takesha and her husband, Shawn Leonard, of Buffalo arrived to the Tops Helpful Market place mass capturing website on Might 14, 2022, in guidance of their neighbors and Buffalo group.

Massey, along with shooting victims Ruth Whitefield and Pearl Youthful, affectionately termed “Pearly,” were being matriarchs in the community, revered and respected by all, reported Bryon  McIntyre, a Buffalo indigenous and former city firefighter who now lives outdoors of San Antonio, Texas.

“If you lived in Buffalo 30 or 40 years, you fairly considerably know most people, and you see these females that curate them selves respectfully,” McIntyre stated. “I’m speaking men and women who wouldn’t wander by you with no saying, ‘Hi, how you performing?’ Most people was their grandchild, their young children. That is what was taken away from us.”

McIntyre, 59, served on a number of parent education and learning groups and expended time in advocacy get the job done, which is how he met Massey. In the course of spirited discussions with town or county officers, Massey was the 1 who’d put a relaxed hand on your shoulder, he mentioned.

“Ms. Massey was a saint,” he claimed. “She’d provide peace to the scenario.”

Buffalo neighborhood: In an outpouring of grief and anger, Jefferson Ave. people request, why us?

Most recent on taking pictures: Buffalo gunman was kicked out of Tops the night time in advance of mass capturing

When Antoine Thompson to start with obtained concerned in Buffalo politics in his 20s, Massey was a supportive existence and guiding hand from the neighborhoods, he mentioned.

“She could have stop a long time ago….but she, like lots of other folks, was not fearful to discuss out and show up,” reported Thompson, 52, a previous Buffalo councilmember and state Senator. “She’s been in the battlefield a lengthy time.”

He is concerned in talks to established up a nearby scholarship in Massey’s identify that would support students who have an interest in non-violence and local community improvement operate, he reported.

Together with her advocacy perform, Massey pushed for community beautification, which include tree planting and a mural, family users told NBC News. She’d pick up trash and donate supplies to neighborhood faculties in her spare time, they explained.

“She was the greatest man or woman you will at any time meet up with in your lifestyle,” her nephew Demetrius Massey told NBC. “It will not feel real.”

Her reduction, and the advocacy and empowerment that the Black neighborhood in that community will reduce as a final result, could go individuals to thrust more difficult in the fight for racial justice, McIntyre claimed.

“She’s been martyred, and it’s heading to motivate extra men and women to stand up in a righteous way,” he stated.

Ruth Whitfield: 86-year-aged capturing victim experienced just remaining husband’s facet at nursing property

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This posting at first appeared on New York Point out Workforce: Katherine Massey, Buffalo capturing victim, was voice for Black folks

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