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Zeneta Everhart, mother of Buffalo mass shooting survivor, testifies at House hearing

Posted at 11:04 AM, Jun 08, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBW) — On Wednesday morning, the House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing on "The Urgent Need to Address the Gun Violence Epidemic."

Zeneta Everhart, mother of Buffalo mass shooting survivor Zaire Goodman, testified as a witness on the first of two panels at the hearing.

Goodman was shot in the neck during the mass shooting at the Tops Friendly Markets on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo on May 14.Goodman, a Tops employee, had been helping 86-year-old Ruth Whitfield with her groceries. Whitfield was also shot. She was one of ten people killed by the gunman.

The gunman has been charged with an act of domestic terror,first-degree murder, second-degree murder and attempted murder.

In her testimony, Everhart spoke on the issues of racism and gun violence in America. Her full opening statement can be viewed in the video player above.

Other witnesses in the first panel include a pediatrician who responded to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas in which 19 children were killed, parents of one of the children killed, and a fourth grader at Robb Elementary.

Buffalo Police Department Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia also spoke during the hearing as part of the second panel.

Gramaglia spoke about the need for a change in gun laws saying in part "this radicalized 18-year-old adult should have never been able to have access to the weapons he used to perpetrate this attack and the laws need to be enacted to ensure it never happens again." He continued on to say "it is time to make changes to a system that is leaving blood on the sidewalks of our communities every day."

The BPD Commissioner also cited a firearms violence policy adopted by the Major Cities Chiefs Association in 2018 which Gramaglia said would "help mitigate the threat of gun violence without infringing on the constitutional rights or weakening due process." According to Gramaglia, polling shows the majority of Americans support the reforms in the policy. His full opening statement can be viewed in the video player above.

On Tuesday, Garnell Whitfield, Jr., son of Ruth Whitfield, spoke at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the same topic.