Harris to attend funeral for victim of Buffalo shooting

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Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff plan to attend the funeral of one of the victims in the mass shooting in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Buffalo, N.Y., earlier this month.

The White House announced on Friday that Harris and her husband would travel to Buffalo on Saturday to attend the funeral for Ruth Whitfield, an 86-year-old woman who was one of 10 people killed in the shooting at Tops supermarket in Buffalo.

Harris and Emhoff “will also meet and offer condolences to the families of other victims,” the White House said.

Whitfield has been described in the press as a devoted mother of four.

“My mom was the consummate mom. My mother was a mother to the motherless. She was a blessing to all of us. She loved God and taught us to do the same thing,” retired Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield, her son, said during a vigil after the shooting, according to the Buffalo News.

Police are investigating the May 14 shooting as a racially-motivated hate crime. Whitfield, like most of those shot or injured in the shooting, was African American.

“Racially-motivated hate crimes or acts of violent extremism are harms against all of us, and we must do everything we can to ensure that our communities are safe from such acts,” Harris said in a statement on the Buffalo shooting last week.

Harris will travel to Buffalo the same weekend that President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will visit Uvalde, Texas, the site of another mass shooting at an elementary school earlier this week.

Both Harris and Biden have called for congressional action on gun control legislation in the wake of the shootings.

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