BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Black community members in Buffalo say what happened last Saturday at Tops Markets should not be accepted as the norm.

Residents of the East Side met Saturday afternoon in a packed room on Jefferson Avenue to create a plan of action.

“The tragedy was a horrific event,” community advocate Duncan Kirkwood said. “It was terrible, it was violent, it was hateful, but we still live here.”

Kirkwood asked the those in attendance a simple question: “What can we do in this moment to make our community better?”

The room followed with these requests: more police engagement with neighbors and better job opportunities.  

“This was a direct attack on the Black community, ” Samuel Radford said.

Radford hopes the eyes of the nation being on Buffalo brings positive change.

“We gotta live here, our families gotta live here,” he said.

Katrinna Martin-Bordeaux said while the hearts of East Side residents are heavy, the community wants the same opportunities as other parts of Buffalo.

“The community wants to be better, and the community wants to live better and the community wants to thrive,” Martin-Bordeaux said.

Kirkwood also said many of these issues aren’t new to the community, that the new part is the people in that room working together.