The son of a 65-year-old woman who was killed in the Buffalo supermarket mass shooting says the 'tragedy' happened the one time 'we didn't go together'
- Wayne Jones told Insider his mother was one of the Buffalo supermarket
- Jones said he and his mother, 65-year-old Celestine "Stiney" Chaney, usually went to the store together.
Wayne Jones made a point to join his 65-year-old mother on trips to the supermarket in Buffalo,
Jones's mother, Celestine "Stiney" Chaney, was among 10 victims who were killed during a mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo on Saturday. Jones had stayed home in recovery from knee surgery while his mother and aunt went to the grocery store to buy Chaney's favorite strawberry shortcakes when the incident happened.
"We went grocery shopping, that was what we did. As she got older, I'd take her grocery shopping," he told Insider. "It's ironic that the one time we didn't go together, there's a tragedy."
Jones said Chaney and his aunt were initially together when the shooting began, but "got split up" in the commotion.
"My aunt got in the freezer. She looked behind her and didn't see (my mother)," Jones said.
"Just a short little store run, and you lose your life because you wanted to just go to the store," he added.
Jones discovered his mother's death from the gunman's livestream
Authorities identified the shooting suspect as a white 18-year-old man from Conklin, New York. According to officials, the suspect traveled hours to reach the predominantly Black community before opening fire on people inside the supermarket.
Thirteen people were shot in total, and 10 people died, including Chaney. A majority of the victims were Black. Officials called the shooting "racially motivated" and noted the gunman live-streamed the incident on Twitch.
The suspect, wearing tactical gear, filmed the shooting using a camera connected to his helmet, authorities said. Like other families, Jones told Insider that he learned about his mother's death after his daughter sent him a screenshot from the video to confirm her identity.
"She inboxed me the picture, and it was mom, lying there, with the barrel of the gun over her," Jones told Insider. "It was because he live-streamed the whole video … I don't want to see that. I've already seen the pictures. There's enough pain right now. Just watching that, seeing the damage over and over again, I don't think that's good."
In a statement, Twitch said the armed suspect was "indefinitely suspended" from the platform and said the company is "taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content."
'You can't dream this'
The suspect was arrested at the scene and charged with first-degree murder, to which he pleaded not guilty. Law enforcement said they were investigating a manifesto that appears to have belonged to the accused shooter and contained plans to kill Black people. It also referenced the replacement theory, a white-supremacist conspiracy theory that believes people of color will outnumber white people.
The manifesto also reportedly stated that the supermarket was targeted due to the high percentage of Black shoppers and residents in the community, Insider's Kelsey Vlamis reported. According to reports, the suspect's semi-automatic weapon had the N-word painted on it and the number 14, a white supremacist slogan.
Officials say that they are investigating the incident as both a hate crime and "racially motivated violent extremism."
"It's crazy because you would never think this would happen to you. Like, I've never dreamed of nothing like this," Jones said. "I've thought about different situations … but never would I think a white supremacist would find the only Black Tops in your state at the time that my mom was there. You can't dream this."
Jones said he is trying to stay resilient for his children as they try to get through this difficult time.
"My mother, she's got six grandkids. I've got to make sure I'm strong enough to handle that part. I have to be strong for them. I have to be. I have to make sure they maintain their sanity through all of this," he said.
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