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South Florida leaders react to Buffalo mass shooting

'It's not just up north or down south. It's everywhere and it's still raging,' pastor says
Posted at 11:29 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 23:32:11-04

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla.  — Authorities in Buffalo, New York, said the suspected gunman from Saturday's mass shooting had his sights set on taking even more lives than he did that afternoon.

Officials said 13 people were shot, and 10 of them were killed, at a supermarket before the shooter, Payton Gendron, 18, surrendered.

Pastor Melvin Pinkney of New Life Zion Temple in Lake Worth Beach described the feelings his congregation is having after Saturday's mass shooting.

"They are concerned, man," he said. "They are concerned about their lives. They're concerned about going grocery shopping."

Eleven of the victims are Black.

"They are concerned about their lives," he said.

Authorities said the mass shooting in Buffalo was racially motivated by an 18-year-old gunman consumed by hate.

Many people are asking why and what can be done to stop such attacks.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said stronger federal laws targeting hate groups and individuals involved in domestic terrorism is a start.

"I think law enforcement needs better tools to root out this type of person before he commits such an atrocity," he said.

Aronberg said the way to meet this challenge is to enact a new law against domestic terrorism.

"We only have definitions of domestic terrorism in the law," he said. "We don't have penalties for them. We don't have a separate stature for it. We have it for international terrorism."

South Florida criminologist Dr. Debbie Goodman said the numbers reveal a deadly trend.

"According to Gun Violence Archive, just in 2022, we have now experienced 198 mass shootings in the United States," she said.

Pinkney said racism is still alive.

"It's not just up north or down south," he said. "It's everywhere and it's still raging."