BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – It was another emotional day in Buffalo Friday, as funeral services were held for three victims in the Tops mass shooting.
Loved ones took time to remember the lives taken nearly two weeks ago.
The funeral for Geraldine Talley wasn’t just a celebration of life, there were also powerful messages delivered on gun violence and economics, with the Reverend Al Sharpton delivering the eulogy.
Talley would’ve turned 63 years old, one week from Friday and was just shopping for groceries before the Tops mass shooting. Prior to going to Tops, she was spending the day with her boyfriend. Family members at Mt. Aaron Missionary Baptist Church honored her life, remembering her as caring and honest.
She helped care for her brother-in-law after he had an aneurysm that left him partially blind.
“I’m going to miss your hugs, your smile, your scent that she left after her hugs,” said Cassidy Rutledge, Talley’s niece.
Geraldine’s son, Mark, says his mom was an extrovert and that her house was the place to be.
“For her, for all of her family members, to come over watch lifetime movies, that’s her,” Mark Talley, Jr. said.
At the funeral, there were many references comparing the Tops mass shooting to the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
“The killer knew exactly what he wanted to do and where he wanted to go, same thing like the killer in Texas which both of them posted online things that they wanted to do,” Talley said, “So roughly in a span of over two weeks, roughly 40 people have been killed by semi-automatic weapons.”
Not only were there calls for gun reform nationally, but calls for a stronger economic agenda on Buffalo’s East Side, knowing that African Americans were targeted in the mass shooting.
“If we really want to honor Geraldine, we got to stop also the food desert in Buffalo,” Sharpton said, “We cannot be in a situation of only one supermarket, one development in the Black community going beyond this day.”
Attorneys Ben Crump and Terry Connors, who represent the Talley’s and families of three other victims say it’s only a matter of time before before a lawsuit will be filed against gun manufacturers and retailers, the suspect’s parents and social media websites.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.