Shooting in Buffalo raises questions about security at supermarkets

Former Chief of Police Ike McKinnon says this case is difficult to prepare for

The shooting is raising questions about security at supermarkets and other shopping destinations. Namely, how much is necessary and how effective it can be against someone heavily armed and armored.

DETROIT – The Buffalo, New York shooting is raising questions about security at supermarkets and other shopping destinations.

Namely, how much is necessary and how effective it can be against someone heavily armed and armored.

“As a retired Chief of Police of Detroit, I carry a weapon, but what is that going to do against an AR-15 or M16 kind of weapon,” said former Detroit Police Chief Ike McKinnon.

Despite facing a gunman wearing body armor and a tactical helmet, Tops Security Guard Aaron Salter did everything he could to save lives.

“He fired at him,” McKinnon said. “I think he hit him, but because of the body armor, it meant nothing,” Mckinnon said.

Salter, the former police officer, and nine others were killed in the mass shooting because the alleged gunman believed in white supremacist ideology.

“We have a whole group of people in this country that thinks the way he does, and that’s frightening,” McKinnon said.

Read: Is extremism hitting the mainstream? Here’s what we know

McKinnon was asked if he thinks anything could’ve been done to prevent the massacre from happing.

McKinnon said, “we have to go back to his parents, the people he associated with, what made him such an angry person. Someone had to hear or see what he was feeling.”

McKinnon says extra security guards or surveillance cameras would have done little to prevent this mass shooting.

“This is the most difficult situation because you have a person who is unknown to the community, and he comes in two or 300 miles away to do what he did, and that is most difficult to prepare for,” McKinnon said.

Officials say the alleged gunman cased out the grocery store the day before the shooting, and his behavior caught the attention of Salter.

“I think we have to look at the people who tried to stop,” McKinnon said. “The officer was a hero; here’s a man who did everything he could to protect other people.”

McKinnon pointed out that there are more guns than people in the United States but doesn’t believe that it would’ve made a difference.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating this mass shooting as a racially motivated hate crime.

The alleged gunman has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.


About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.