Patterson was a deacon at his church and leaves behind a 12-year-old son, Jaques Patterson. The family and members of the Buffalo community gathered Thursday (May 19) for a prayer vigil for all of the victims' families who are grieving loved ones lost in this heinous shooting.
"I need a village to help me raise and be here for my son, because he has no father," Patterson's ex-wife, Tizrah Patterson, said during a news conference.
The suspected gunman, Payton Gendron, was indicted on first-degree murder by a grand jury on Thursday (May 19). Police say the 18-year-old drove three hours from Conklin to Buffalo and targeted the store and neighborhood because of its Black population. Online posts uncovered by authorities revealed that Gendron had been planning the attack for months and would've continued the violent rampage had he escaped the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue Saturday (May 14).
Buffalo city officials say the 911 dispatcher who hung up on the store's assistant manager who called for help during the shooting is expected to be fired at a hearing scheduled for May 30.
"Our intention is to terminate the 911 call taker who acted totally inappropriately, not following protocol," County Executive Mark Polocarz said during a news conference. The unidentified dispatcher –– who has a reported eight years of experience on the job –– was placed on leave on Monday (May 16).
Gendron is due back in court on June 9.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.