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Funeral today for Buffalo shooting victim 67-year-old deacon Heyward Patterson

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Buffalo begins to say final farewell to victims of supermarket massacre
Buffalo begins to say final farewell to victims of supermarket massacre 02:48

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The first funeral was held Friday for one of the victims in the Buffalo supermarket massacre.

The family of 67-year-old deacon Heyward Patterson said their final goodbyes. At the request of his widow, Civil Rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton delivered his eulogy.

A prayer vigil was held Thursday for the victims and their loved ones, who are still coming to grips with their grief. 

At a press conference, Patterson's 12-year-old son covered his face as his mother cried.

"I need a village to help me raise and be here for my son, because he has no father," Tirzah Patterson, his ex-wife, said. 

Others will soon follow behind, as they too prepare for their loves ones' funerals in the coming days. 

Robin Whitfield said her 86-year-old mother, Ruth, was her best friend and the two had been planning an evening out.

"We were supposed to go see the Temptations play that night. I still have the tickets on my table," he said. "How dare you!"

It has been anger and agony for the Whitfield family. One death devastated three generations. 

"We just want to live in peace. My grandchildren are here -- her great-grandchildren -- my children, I'm scared for them," said her son, Garnell Whitfield Jr. 

The suspect accused of killing their mother and nine other people appeared before a judge Thursday in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, as he was indicted on first-degree murder. Emotions were running high, and those who were in attendance said the families sat there in shock. 

"They were stunned in silence and stillness. I mean, what do you do when the monster who has destroyed your family walks into the courtroom?" one person said. 

During last Saturday's rampage, a Tops employee said a 911 operator hung up on her because she was whispering while hiding from the shooter. That operator has been suspended. 

"It is our intention to terminate the individual, however there is proper procedure we have to follow," said Eerie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. 

The FBI concluded its evidence gathering at the crime scene Thursday, and the company's president said the store would reopen, though he didn't say when. It's the only full-service grocery store in the area. 

 

Sandy Hook mother speaks in solidarity

Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose daughter was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, says she can relate to the loved ones as they continue to come to grips with their grief. 

"People say time heals all wounds," said Gayle King in an interview with Marquez-Greene on CBS Mornings.

"Not this one," Marquez-Greene replied.

Her daughter, Ana Grace, was only six years old when she was murdered almost 10 years ago in Newtown, Connecticut. 

Greene says we have to continue to support the families of the Buffalo massacre even after the cameras leave, and grow society's capacity to attain more empathy for all families impacted by gun violence. She also says we need to teach: Hate no one.

"It fills me with rage as a mother that someone could be out there not having that same conversation with their child. How dare we as parents encourage or allow our for kids to pick up these hateful messages that will then cause what we saw the events we saw this weekend," she said. 

By CBS New York Team
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