The former supermarket security cop, who was killed in a shootout with the Buffalo supermarket gunner on Saturday, died a “hero,” his son said.
Aaron Salter Jr. has been identified by his son as the beloved Tops Friendly Markets security guard and former Buffalo cop who was trying to stop the teenage suspect, according to the Daily Beast.
“Today is a shock,” his son Aaron Salter III told the news site.
“I’m pretty sure he saved some lives today. He is a hero.”
Salter Jr. drew his gun and fired at Payton Gendron, but his bullet failed to penetrate the 18-year-old’s armored tactical gear, officials said.
Gendron then fatally shot the guard before continuing his hateful killing spree at the grocery store that serves the predominantly black Masten Park and Kingsley neighborhoods, according to Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.
He was eventually confronted by Buffalo Cops and taken into custody. Gendron later pleaded not guilty to killing ten people and injuring three. Investigators claim he was fueled by hatred of people of color. Eleven of his victims were black.
Before the deadly shooting, Salter Jr. had been working at the grocery store for the past four years after a three-decade career in the Buffalo Police Department, his son told the Daily Beast.
Salter Jr. left behind three children and reportedly joined the police force right out of high school.
His mother, Carol, worked as a cashier at a Buffalo Tops supermarket for 15 years before becoming a front-end manager until her retirement in 1986, the outlet reported.
She and her husband, Aaron Salter, Sr., who have both passed away, then opened a dry cleaning business, according to the article.
In 1996, Salter Jr. survived an encounter with a suspect who pointed a shotgun at him during a burglary, according to The Buffalo News.
“My first reaction was to duck,” Salter Jr. said. “I don’t like looking down the barrel of a shotgun, and if my partner hadn’t shot first, it would have been a golden opportunity to shoot us. My partner probably saved us.”
According to his LinkedIn profile, Salter Jr.’s latest passion has been building green vehicles.
“I’m a jack of all trades, not a master,” was his modest profile for his position at AWS Hydrogen Technologies, LLC.
“I am constantly working on my vehicles [sic] and/or my project of running engines on water for the past four years I would love to fulfill my dream of one day making cars run off water using my newfound power source.
Salter Jr. demonstrated how his 2010 Ford F-150 drives on its AWS hydrogen fuel system in a video posted to YouTube.
The system used water to run the truck after being started on gasoline, he explained.
“So today we’re going to do four experiments for the patent examiners,” he said while wearing a Police Benevolent Association shirt.
“My system uses the residues generated by electrolysis. So we’re actually going to launch this vehicle without electrolysis,” he said.
His son Salter III had taken to Facebook in 2019 to speak out against an attack similar to the one that claimed his father’s life, the outlet noted.
“When I hear another story of someone scaring away innocent people en masse, or like yesterday the 20-year-old in Missouri who (sic) went to Walmart with an assault rifle and 100 rounds and recorded himself yelling at people Shopping made comments I’ll lose (sic) my mind,” he wrote.
“We can’t even go about our everyday lives without having to watch our backs and that’s scary! The sad thing is I have a feeling some madman is about to do something close to home and I’m not ready for that.
With postal wires
https://nypost.com/2022/05/14/ex-cop-aaron-salter-jr-killed-while-firing-at-buffalo-shooter/ Ex-Cop Aaron Salter Jr. killed when he shot Buffalo gunman