The Tops Friendly Markets security guard, a former Buffalo police officer, exchanged fire with the shooter but could not penetrate the body armor, dying a "hero" for trying to stop the shooter, the New York Post reported.
Aaron Salter Jr. served as the guard at the supermarket for the past four years after three decades with the Buffalo Police Department, according to the report.
The guard reportedly engaged in a shootout with the 18-year-old shooter, but the bullets could not pierce the tactical armor, according to Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.
The guard's son Aaron Salter III said, "I'm pretty sure he saved some lives today. He's a hero."
The shooter killed 10 and injured three others before he was apprehended by police in a reported hate crime targeting Blacks.
The Buffalo News detailed a past brush with death as a police officer in 1996 during a burglary call.
"My first reaction was to duck," Salter Jr. said. "I don't enjoy looking down the barrel of a shotgun, and if it hadn't been for my partner shooting first, it would have been a golden opportunity to shoot us. My partner probably saved us."
Salter III had posted a Facebook message in 2019 denouncing domestic terror violence.
"If I hear another story of someone mass shooing innocent people or like yesterday the 20 year old in Missouri who when [sic] to Walmart with and [sic] assault rifle and 100 rounds and recorded himself making comments to people shopping I'm gonna loose [sic] my mind," the post read, becoming a public memorial this weekend for his father.
"We can't even do everyday s**t without having to watch our backs and that's scary af! The sad thing is I feel like a crazy close to home is gonna do something soon and I'm not ready for that."
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