SAN ANTONIO – With more shootings being reported across the nation Sunday, people in San Antonio are still on edge after Saturday’s mass shooting in Buffalo, New York.
Ten families are ending their weekends without the ones they hold dear after a shooting at Tops Friendly Market, a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Buffalo. Countless others were scarred for life.
“We can’t go to the grocery store without the fear of being shot by some hater. What are we coming to?” Herman Irving said.
Irving is a former military police officer. KSAT 12 spoke with him just as he was leaving Sunday service on the East Side.
“This is supposed to be the United States of America. We’re supposed to be the leader of the world,” Irving said.
Irving shared he’s alarmed by what we are now learning about the Buffalo shooting.
The shooter, just 18-years-old, reportedly used a legally bought AR-15 with a high-capacity magazine.
His motive was made clear in a 180-page purported manifesto where the teen described himself as a fascist, a White supremacist and an anti-semite.
“Every morning I wake up, I look at the news about a shooting and it’s just heartbreaking,” Irving said.
As we learn more about the suspected Buffalo shooter, Dr. Keely Petty, a mental health professional, said this highlights why we as a nation need a mental health movement.
“The fact that he could kill without remorse, without feeling something is wrong on the inside. And this is why we have to bring mental health to schools,” Petty said.
She has worked for years in the community teaching about mental health, especially for young people like the Buffalo shooter.
Petty explains how we come out of this moment will be key for our society.
“When we wrap our arms around mental health, we’re wrapping our arms around humanity and we’re saying it doesn’t matter from which walk of life you come from,” Petty said.
Organizations Petty works with like West Care of Texas and Bethel Prevention Coalition are actively working to do just that in our own community so acts of violence like we saw in New York might be prevented.
“This is that time to do that one thing. This is that time for communities of color, every color to come together,” Petty said.
She also mentioned Bethel Prevention Coalition has free gun safety locks to give away to anyone in the community who needs one.