Garnell Whitfield said he had been trying to call his mother after hearing about the shooting but couldn’t get in touch with her. He drove by her house and then went to Tops where he found her car in the parking lot. Whitfield would later learn that his mother was among the victims.
“Devastation, anger, hurt, disbelief, pain,” Whitfield said, describing his feelings that day. “She was the glue that held our family together.”
Whitfield said his family will not shy away from calling out the suspect’s alleged motive.
“It is White supremacy. It is hate. It is racism. It is bigotry,” Whitfield said. “And we gotta call it what it is and stop beating around the bush and take it head on because it’s proliferating. It’s not getting better.”
Among them were Celestine Chaney, Roberta Drury, Andre Mackniel, Katherine Massey, Margus Morrison and Heyward Patterson.
“She was a very peaceful, sweet person and I feel like people should learn to be like that themselves,” Chaney’s granddaughter, Kayla Jones, said at the funeral.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited the area in the first days after the shooting happened, calling it an act of domestic terrorism and condemning the racist ideology of the suspected shooter.
CNN’s Jasmine Wright and Justin Gamble contributed.