Retired Police Officer Remembered as Hero After Buffalo Shooting: ‘We’re Sure He Saved Lives’

by TK Sanders

A retired Buffalo police officer died Saturday during a mass shooting at a neighborhood grocery store that stunned the nation. Retired Buffalo Police officer Aaron Salter was killed at Tops Market while protecting others in the store, and his former colleagues want to make sure he is remembered correctly as a hero.

At a glance

  • A security guard died protecting his customers in the line of duty during Saturday’s mass shooting at the Tops Market grocery store
  • Aaron Salter served the Buffalo Police Department for more than three decades before retiring to work as a security guard and to focus on passion projects
  • Salter’s former colleague’s called him a “hero” and a “well-respected, beloved” member of the community

Salter worked as an armed security guard at the store. When the shooter entered and began firing, Salter returned fire. Because the gunman was wearing armor, however, Salter’s shots did not take him down. The gunman then fatally shot Salter.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Salter is “a hero in our eyes,” Buffalo’s WIVB-TV and Fox News reported.

“One of the individuals inside the store is a security guard, a beloved security guard, who is a retired Buffalo police officer — a hero in our eyes — he engaged the suspect and fired multiple shots,” Gramaglia said during a news conference.

Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President John Evans echoed the sentiments, calling Salter a “well-respected” man on the force.

“I had the pleasure of knowing him, great guy, well respected, well-liked. This is just horrific. It’s tragic. I don’t know what other words to describe it,” Evans said.

Retired Buffalo police lieutenant who died in Saturday’s mass shooting enjoyed solar and “green” energy projects

Ten people total died in the horrific crime; three more suffered injuries. Police charged the gunman with first-degree murder.

Salter, 55, was a lieutenant with the Buffalo Police Department for more than three decades.

According to WPXI news, after retiring from the force and becoming a security guard, Salter focused on building vehicles that operate on green energy. He also ran a company called AWS Hydrogen Technologies.

“I’m working on my project of running engines on water the last four years or so,” Salter wrote on LinkedIn. “I would like to realize my dream of getting cars to run off of water using my newly discovered energy source someday.”

In a 2015 video interview, Salter showcased his Ford F-150 pickup, which he said he cranked with gasoline but then could switch over to run on water.

In 2019, Salter’s son, Aaron Salter III, publicly lamented the regularity of mass shootings on his social media page, the Daily Beast reported.

“If I hear another story of someone mass shooting innocent people … I’m gonna lose my mind,” Salter III wrote on Facebook in August 2019. “The sad thing is I feel like a crazy [person] close to home is gonna do something soon and I’m not ready for that.”