BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – There have been three mass shootings this weekend across the U.S. — in Philadelphia, Chattanooga, and in the state of South Carolina.
And like many, the mother of a surviving victim in the Tops mass shooting wants to know when the violence will stop.
Zeneta Everhart is the mother of Zaire Goodman. Her son worked at Tops on Jefferson and was shot in the neck and the back, injuries that he is still recovering from.
“His wounds are healing, he’s getting better every single day, but it’s always going to be in there you know,” Everhart said.
As her son continues to go through physical therapy, Zeneta is putting the finishing touches on the statement she will deliver Wednesday to the House Oversight Committee. Zeneta says she received an invitation from Congressman Brian Higgins to testify, an invitation she accepted. She’ll testify before lawmakers on gun violence, delivering her message on education and gun reform, while still supporting the Second Amendment.
“I think that the access to guns in this country is ridiculous, it’s way too easy to get one, I’ll talk about education, about how the education system does not teach true African American history in this country and overall I’ll talk about Buffalo,” Everhart said.
She’ll also talk about her son.
“I need people to know he’s such a sweet kid and for this to happen to him it’s going to affect him forever,” she said.
Zeneta says she’s hopeful change will happen.
“I’m always optimistic, that’s just who I am, people will tell you that I think we can have world peace, I’m one of those people,” Everhart said.
She’ll testify alongside families from Uvalde, Texas while keeping the families of the victims here in her heart.
“As I go to Washington, I hope I make them proud,” Everhart said, “We’re in this together, it’s not a club that I ever wanted to be a part of, but I’ve seen my son be remarkable throughout this.”
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia will also testify on Wednesday. Former Buffalo Fire commissioner Garnell Whitfield, the son of Ruth Whitfield will testify on Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Meanwhile, attorneys for Everhart and Goodman have filed a petition against the parents of the Tops suspect to preserve evidence related to the case.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.