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Binghamton residents hold vigil for victims of Buffalo shooting

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — Binghamton residents held a vigil Thursday night, honoring the victims of the Buffalo shooting.

Around a hundred people gathered in downtown Binghamton. They lit 10 candles, one for each victim, and stood in silence. They then read the names of each person killed or injured in the shooting.

The alleged gunman was from nearby Conklin. For some Black Binghamton residents, this has caused anger and fear. Residents called on their white neighbors to confront racism in their community.

Terri Weathers, an organizer with Stakeholders of Broome County, argued Broome County must reckon with the racism in its history. She referenced the fact that in the 1920s, Binghamton was the headquarters for New York’s Ku Klux Klan.

“The murderer who traveled to Buffalo is a direct result of Broome County’s history. This is exactly what happens when racism is bred into a society, and ingrained, and allowed to be,” Weathers said.

The group also gathered food, supplies and hygiene products for people in the Buffalo neighborhood where the shooting happened. Organizers will drive the supplies to Buffalo Friday.

Salka Valerio is a community organizer with Citizen Action. She said it’s important to show support for Buffalo residents affected by the shooting.

“I feel like as a resident of Broome County, I think that it's our duty to make sure that we are able to provide help and mutual aid to the Buffalo community, and try to figure out what they need on their path to healing,” Valerio said.