Marjory Stoneman High School student Anthony Borges is a hero, having put his life in the line of fire to protect his classmates when a gunman rampaged through their Parkland, Florida, school. RELATED: Florida sheriff calls “Sentinel Program” to arm teachers after intense training a “game-changer” Watch the video His father and a friend who survived the massacre told ABC News that the 15-year-old Borges put the lives of others before his own.
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The first of ten funerals began Friday as Deacon Heyward Patterson was laid to rest in Buffalo, New York, after an allegedly racist gunman opened fire at the Tops supermarket last weekend.
"He was truly called to do the work in the community and he will be missed greatly,” said decade-long friend Leonard Lane, according to WIVB. The two men had been sitting in the same pew together at church for the last ten years.
“Deacon Heyward Patterson was a beautiful wonderful brother to have on your team,” Lane said. “Deacon Patterson was a little bit of everything in this community, he was a greeter, he was an usher, he was a deacon, and most of all he was a community servant.”
At a vigil, the family and friends of the survivors of the massacre spoke to the press about the sense of fear and trauma they have.
Patterson's ex-wife spoke through tears as their 12-year-old son covered his face.
"He half sleeps. He half eats. And as a mother, what am I supposed to do to help him get through this?" Tirzah Paterson begged. "I need a village to help me raise and be here for my son because he has no father."
Veronica White, the aunt of Andre Mackniel sobbed, "they just shoot us down like dogs. That doesn't make any sense to me. It shouldn't have happened."
Robin Whitfield lost her mother, who was at the grocery store that day.
"She was my best friend," she said of her mother. "What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do now?"
She recalled tickets to The Temptations that she was taking her mother to see that night and she keeps looking at them on her table.
"How dare you," she shouted through sobs.
See the heartbreaking moment below:
Family of shooting victims in Buffalo youtu.be
Watch: Lauren Boebert called out by local media for 'openly espousing' the Buffalo shooter’s racist creed
Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) received a sharp rebuke from a local media outlet this week for echoing an insidious racist conspiracy theory that appears to have inspired the suspected Buffalo gunman.
"The targeted killing of Black shoppers at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, over the weeks is just the latest mass shooting apparently inspired by the baseless and racist replacement theory," said News 9 anchor Kyle Clark. "The idea that Jews and Democratic elites are trying to replace white Americans with people of color from other countries."
"There are some conservative political figures that will hit about this theory or speak about it in code and then there’s Colorado Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert."
Clark then played a clip of Boebert speaking about a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, in which she remarked "yes, there is definitely a replacement theory that’s going on right now."
"That was Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert openly espousing replacement theory by name in 2021," Clark emphasized.
The 18-year-old suspect, Payton Gendron, took explicit inspiration from the white supremacist gunman who murdered 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019.
The Christchurch killer had warned in a manifesto of a "Great Replacement" of white Christians of European descent by Blacks, Jews, Muslims, Latinos and others, a theory that has found an increasing echo in American right-wing politics and on cable news.
Lifting often word-for-word from the rambling text, Gendron produced a chilling 180-page manifesto of his own -- in which he stated his goal: to "kill as many Blacks as possible."
Gendron himself came from a rural town in New York state that had a very small number of non-white residents.
He learned his hate almost exclusively online, a pattern of "radicalization" that law enforcement authorities say has only increased in recent years to become a major threat for the United States.
Gendron drove 200 miles to the Tops market in Buffalo to carry out his attack in a neighborhood he knew had a large African American population, during the busiest shopping period of the week.
His shooting spree left 10 African Americans dead.
Boebert's reference to 'replacement theory' www.youtube.com
With additional reporting by AFP
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