BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Parishioners, faith leaders and elected officials gathered in the red brick church of Delaine Waring AME to pray for change in the wake of the racist Jacksonville store shooting.

Minister Leonard Williams says Delaine Waring had to stand in solidarity against hate after three Black people were recently shot and killed at a Dollar General in Jacksonville, Florida.

“We made a decision some time ago that this church was going to stand for justice,” Williams said.

“We will let them know, we will send a transcript of this service down to them,” Williams said. “Let them know that the political community, the social community, as well as the religious community came together and said we know what you’re going through and we’re on your side.”

Many have drawn parallels to the racist shooting in Jacksonville and the 5/14 Tops shooting that claimed 10 innocent lives and injured three others.

Pastor Earl Perrin says much more work needs to be done as the community heals from the deep pain caused on Jefferson Avenue.

“We can all come together and fight that narrative of hate and change it to a narrative of love. And that’s what this is all about and what better person to talk about love than god?” said Perrin.

Among those in attendance were the friends and family of Aaron Salter Jr. and Ruth Whitfield who lost their lives on 5/14.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said instead of tearing our community apart, that terrible day brought us closer together.

“We came together and that example has helped to carry communities all over the country that have experienced this,” said Mayor Brown.

“We want to let the white supremacists of this world, especially of this country know you ain’t going to win, you ain’t going to win,” added Williams.

Latest Local News

New on WIVB.com

Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.