Aaron Salter Jr.

Aaron Salter Jr.

A slain security guard heralded as a hero in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store shooting Saturday has ties to New Castle.

Aaron Salter Jr., 55, is a half-brother to Faith Salter of New Castle.

Faith, 24, said she learned Sunday about her brother’s death when her niece called her.

Faith then called her mother “and she broke down in tears and said she was sorry to tell me I lost another brother.”

The month of May historically has been a bad month for Faith, who has lost three brothers during that month of the year, two of them in earlier years.

Her brother, David Hines, 38, died a year ago May 17. Hines was found shot to death in his car off East Portersville Road in Butler County. His car was down an embankment near the entrance to a mining facility in Muddy Creek Township. A suspect was arrested in his death and is awaiting trial in Butler County.

Faith’s other brother, Elijah Salter, died by drowning during his 5th birthday party 15 years ago.

Faith now is mourning the loss her brother who others in Buffalo, New York, believe saved the lives of many others when he fired at a shooter in the grocery store.

Aaron Salter, a retired Buffalo police officer, had been a police officer for the Buffalo department for 30 years and retired four years ago. He was working as a security store in the Tops Friendly Markets grocery store when a gunman entered and started shooting.

Salter reportedly confronted the suspected gunman, 18-year-old Payton Gentron, inside the store and fired at him, but his gunfire failed to penetrate the gunman’s armored vest. Gendron returned fire at Salter, killing him. A total of 10 people died from Gentron’s gunfire.

Salter was born and raised in Buffalo. He was named after Faith’s father, also Aaron Salter, who is also deceased.

Faith gets to see Aaron’s children whenever she goes to Buffalo, which is every year on Thanksgiving, she said.

“It’s just upsetting that it takes a man to die with a badge on for everyone to realize there’s racism going on and so much is swept under the rug,” Faith commented after learning that authorities were calling the shooting a hate crime.

“He was a good, honest and decent man and he took care of his family and his kids and helped anybody who was around,” Faith said. “He was always helping people. He raised good children and they live like he lived. They’re just good honest people.”

dwachter@ncnewsonline.com

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Debbie's been a journalist at the New Castle News since 1978, and covers county government, police and fire, New Castle schools, environment and various other realms. She also writes features, takes photos and video and copy edits.

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