BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A group of community leaders came together Thursday in what they called a healing circle to help deal with the emotions of last Saturday’s shooting.

Members of the Buffalo Equity Coalition said this past weekend has left everyone broken hearted and everyone is feeling a range of emotions.

They organized this healing circle Thursday morning to help the community do just that: heal, from the tragedy of the Tops mass shooting. This was at the Buffalo Urban League on Genesee Street.

Among those who attended and spoke was Senator Tim Kennedy.

“It’s a conversation about race, its a conversation about history, about hate evil that’s perpetrated our country since before the inception of our country,” Senator Kennedy said.

Sam Radford III from We The Parents also spoke during the event.

He said he wants to see local officials put policies in place to prevent another tragedy from happening.

“We all as Americans suffer while we get polarized with people pointing the finger at each other and nobody advancing policy, nobody advancing initiatives, nobody governing while we all suffer,” Radford said. “So we gotta challenge them, our elected leaders. It’s not all right for him to sit, wherever he’s from in Broome county in a little room, and get full of hate, and not be exposed to African American culture, other people of color.”

This group meets regularly and had previously scheduled this meeting before Saturday’s shooting.

Organizers said that’s what made Thursday’s gathering that much more important.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.