BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — On Wednesday, Aaron Salter, a retired Buffalo police officer who was killed in the Jefferson Avenue mass shooting, was laid to rest.
Salter’s funeral took place at The Chapel at Crosspoint in Getzville at noon. At the time of his death, Salter was working as a security guard at the Tops store where the mass shooting took place.
Police tell us Salter fired at the gunman multiple times, but the gunman was wearing a tactical helmet and a bulletproof vest.
“When all hell broke loose at Tops, Aaron Salter the policeman stepped into his assignment, he never wavered, he never faltered, he slowed the threat, people escaped danger and Aaron Salter saved lives,” said retired Buffalo Police deputy commissioner Kim Beaty.
Salter was born and raised in Buffalo and served the Buffalo Police Department for 32 years. He was posthumously promoted to lieutenant and was posthumously awarded the department’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor.
“Aaron was a lifesaver, as he saved many lives at that Tops Market as he shielded that 14-year-old girl and he helped others to escape,” Rev. Dr. Cassandra Salter-Smith, Aaron Salter’s cousin.
Salter’s funeral was a celebration of life, focused on faith, love and family, inspired by prayer and music — a tribute so appropriate because Aaron played drums and bass guitar at church.
There were also light-hearted moments such as his love for bubble gum and ketchup, and being a handyman and inventor. Salter’s partner, Nathan Goldsmith, looked internally and asked himself what Aaron would want him to say.
“I believe that he would want me to say that is one of the darkest days in the history of Buffalo, he made a choice to stand tall, he gave all that he had for all that he believed in protecting and saving lives,” Goldsmith said, “This man was a man of faith, he was a man of conviction, a man of standard, a man of principle.”
Salter received full police honors, which included a 21-gun salute.
“We are going to see him off for his family with every honor this police department and the city can give him,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.
A scholarship has been established in Salter’s name and will be awarded to a Hutch Tech graduating senior. Hutch Tech is Salter’s alma mater.
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Abby Fridmann is an anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in November 2020. See more of her work here.