Survivors struggle to move forward after Buffalo mass shooting
▶ Watch Video: President Biden visits Black community in mourning over supermarket shooting
Speaking to a grieving community Tuesday, an emotional President Biden condemned the racist ideology of the gunman who killed 10 black people at a Buffalo supermarket.
“I call on all Americans to reject the lie and I condemn those who spread the lies for power, political gain and for profit,” he said.
The president was calling out those who have pushed the false, racist “replacement theory,” the belief apparently shared by the accused shooter that white Americans are being systematically replaced by immigrants and minorities.
In remarks to elected officials, first responders and the 10 victims‘ families, Mr. Biden named each of the victims, including Andre Mackneil, who went to buy his 3-year-old son a birthday cake.
After his speech, the president hugged Mackneil’s three-year-old son and gave him a presidential challenge coin. His family said he is too young to understand what happened to his father.
“My uncle’s story and what happened to him wasn’t just kicked under a rug like it meant nothing because it meant a lot,” Vyonne Elliott told CBS News’ Jericka Duncan said.
Families are still recovering from the horrific shooting. Eight-year-old Londin Thomas was with her parents at the market when shots rang out.
“I was scared for my mom because I thought something happened to her,” Thomas said.
During the shooting, Thomas and her father split up from her mother and rushed to the back of the store. They barricaded themselves inside a milk cooler until they could be rescued.
“I didn’t know what was going on, I was just following my dad,” she said.
Her mom, Julie Hartwell, is stuck wondering the same questions many in the community are thinking.
“What are we going to do after this? That’s all I’m worried about cause my kid has to grow up here. What is the next step to prevent this from happening anymore,” Hartwell said.
On his way back to Washington, President Biden conceded that there was little he could do to take on gun reform through executive action. He said he has to convince Congress to go back to what he passed years ago, referring to a 10-year-long assault weapons ban he helped pass as a senator.