News 4 is looking back on what has changed in the year since the Tops mass shooting. Tune in at 1 p.m. Sunday for a special report as we reflect on what we’ve lost, what we’ve learned, and how we continue to heal. See our latest coverage here.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — This weekend marks one year since the Mass Shooting at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue and many memorials and remembrance events are taking place across Western New York.
Candlelight vigils were held at more than a dozen Tops locations Thursday night to honor the lives lost when tragedy struck on May 14. Faith leaders hope the community can heal in order to create meaningful change.
“It’s a way for the whole community to realize our brothers and sisters here are hurting,” Dominic Secchiaroli of Total Breakthrough, Inc. said.
As the remembrance weekend begins, many communities are coming together to remember the lives lost, through prayer, thoughts and action. Faith leaders gathered at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue to honor the victims, their families, Tops employees and shoppers who lived through the unthinkable.
“We can just tape into a sense of healing for this community. We can make a difference. We are the community of good neighbors, are we not?” Rev. Dianna Henderson of the Michigan Street Baptist Church added.
Prayer vigils were held at 15 different Tops locations Thursday night, according to organizers. From Lockport, to East Buffalo, to Grand Island, and to West Seneca, people gathered to heal and find ways to create change moving forward.
“It is time to start looking at how can we come together as one, unified with one voice to make a difference in the time we are living in today,” Rev. Henderson continued. “This is not just any day, but it’s a day, a special day, that we need to carry in our heart forever.”
More information on remembrance and memorial events can be found here.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.