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Canisius College awards Aaron Salter Jr. posthumous degree during commencement ceremony Saturday

Posted at 11:56 AM, May 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-22 14:56:02-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Aaron Salter Jr. was three credits short of earning his degree from Canisius College. He's now a college graduate.

Aaron Salter III, accepted his late father's diploma during a commencement ceremony at Canisius College Saturday, a week after Salter Jr. was killed in the mass shooting at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue.

"It was really one of the most beautiful moments I think we had on the Canisius College stage," said President of Canisius College John Hurley.

"He was definitely smiling," said Salter III.

Salter Jr. attended Canisius College from the fall of 1984 to 1988. He returned to school in the spring and summer of 2007, he was one class short of earning his degree when he died.

Salter III described his dad as a "super cop," a husband, a father and an officer, he says, who would give anything to help someone else in their time of need.

"He loved it. I didn't see him slowing down anytime soon," said Salter III.

Simply put — he is a hero and was last Saturday at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue. Police said the former BPD officer turned security guard engaged with and tried to stop the shooter, but ultimately lost his life.

"I think that's what really, that's what really made it better was getting all the love and support from everyone telling me, you know, hey, I know this is a bad thing that happened but your dad was a hero. And everyone's gonna remember that," said Salter III.

Salter III says in the days following the shooting, his father received various honors, but this — this was the best of them all.