Her brother, Warren Massey, said he dropped Katherine off at the grocery store shortly before the shooting.
He said he usually stayed with Katherine but she told him to come back for her. “I never thought that was the last time I would see her,” he said.
Katherine, or Aunt Kat as her family called her, was the family matriarch. She never had children but was a mother figure to her nephews and nieces.
“He was the greatest person you will meet in your life,” said nephew Demetrius Massey, 39.
Dawn Massey added: “She would do anything for anyone. Very family oriented. She was the closest extension of our grandmother.”
His family said they were trying to process his death.
“I always use the present tense,” said Dawn Massey.
Demetrius Massey added: “It doesn’t feel real.”
Aaron Salter Jr., 55, a Tops security guard, is also remembered as a beloved member of his community. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia called him “a hero in our eyes.”
Salter, a retired Buffalo police officer, fired several shots at the shooter, but the bullets did not pierce the suspect’s armored vest.
Ruth Whitfield, 86, had just visited her husband at a care home, where he has lived for eight years, and had stopped for groceries when she was shot dead.
His son, retired Buffalo Fire Marshal Garnell Whitfield, told reporters Monday that the family had yet to tell his father about Saturday’s tragedy.
“How do I tell him (that) the love of his life, his primary caretaker, the person who kept him alive for the last eight years, how do I tell him that she’s gone?” Whitfield said.
“Not only that she’s gone, but (that she) is gone at the hands of a white supremacist, a terrorist, an evil person who is allowed to live among us.
Whitfield’s daily visits to her husband involved small chores that often included ironing his clothes, trimming his fingernails, or grooming his mustache.
“Religiously, she goes to see him every day,” the former fire marshal said of his parents, who have been married for 68 years.
“Whatever he needed to maintain some sense of dignity and quality of life, she invested in it. And this past Saturday, she was doing the same thing.”
Heyward Patterson, a 67-year-old driver, was loading groceries into his car for a customer when he was shot, his wife Tirzah Patterson told NBC News.
“’Why around here?’ That was my response,” said the grieving widow and mother of their 12-year-old son.
“I didn’t know if I should be angry, I didn’t know if I should be hurt. There are all kinds of emotions, but the first thing I thought was, ‘Why in this way? ‘ Otherwise, I’m not saying I’d rather he died in his sleep or something, but it’s (is) tragic, not like that.”
The family of Roberta Drury, 32, said she grew up in Cicero, New York, and moved to Buffalo 10 years ago. She helped care for her brother, who is recovering from cancer.