NewsLocal NewsBuffalo Mass Shooting


Grieving families of the Jefferson 10 vow to continue fighting for justice

"Justice doesn't look like a lethal injection."
Posted at 11:23 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 23:24:22-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — "He has six children, a bonus daughter — daughters that will never have their father take them to the prom, you know, walk them down the aisle, give them a hug, call or text them."

Family members of the Jefferson 10 were in court Thursday as the suspected shooter in the mass shooting at Tops on Jefferson Avenue was arraigned on more than two dozen charges.

As the victims' families continue grieving, they say they are also angry about the senseless violence that took the lives of their loved ones.

"This, my friend, is something that will not — we will not be silent about it," Michelle Spight told 7 News anchor Lia Lando. Spight is Pearl Young's niece.

She and Dominique Douglas — who is Margus Morrison's cousin — say they will not rest until they see changes.

"My Aunt Pearl and my cousin Margus: they are worth every fight," said Spight. "Until those laws are changed and until people that are representing us are held accountable, whether they're democrat or republican."

And Spight says she wants the suspected shooter to spend the rest of his life in a prison cell.

"Justice doesn't look like a lethal injection," she said. "Justice to me means this person, this monster, this thug sitting in a prison — not confined, but in an open population and every day every minute every second every hour accounting for all the horrendous things that he did."

Douglas said she's concerned about the sentence the suspect will receive.

"What's his punishment going to be? what is it going to be?" Douglas said. "Because I am going to sit here and I am going to wait and I am going to see and then I am going to compare it to all the people whose cases have come up who don't look like him and what their punishments have been."

Both Douglas and Spight agree in their hope that this shooting will finally cause serious changes in our communities.

"It looks like legislators coming together to acknowledge that the system we have is not working," said Douglas. "Let's come together at a table from different communities."

They say they'll make sure Margus, Pearl and all eight of the others who perished in that shooting did not die in vain.

"I would just like to challenge everyone that beyond all the politics beyond what your opinion is [to] be human [and] think that 'Yeah, it's me today but it could be you tomorrow,'" said Spight.