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Arizona man who was a pastor in Buffalo remembers mass shooting victims, community

Jerome Ferrell moved to Arizona years ago, but was born and raised in Buffalo, New York
Jerome Ferrell moved to Arizona years ago, but the supermarket shooting in Buffalo that left ten people dead is within walking distance of where he grew up.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 8:45 PM MST
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SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- There are still balloons in Jerome Ferrell’s living room in San Tan Valley from his birthday celebration last Friday. The next day he learned of the devastating news that hit close to home.

“The neighbors knew your neighbors. And that’s why it really hits home real hard that this happened at a shopping market. Because it’s the community,” Ferrell told Arizona’s Family on Wednesday.

Ferrell moved to Arizona years ago, but the supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New York, over the weekend that left ten people dead is within walking distance of where he grew up. He even remembers some of the victims from his years as a pastor, including 77-year-old Pearl Young. “Very powerful, and she was committed to her church, to her religion, to her faith. To her walk. And to the community,” he said.

Ferrell says Buffalo is known as the city of good neighbors, and it truly lives up to the name. “As I watch the Buffalo Bills that I’m a fan of today delivering food, tears came to my eyes. Because they came to deliver right to the site of the massacre. They brought food for the community,” he said.

An 18-year-old is facing charges in this deadly shooting. It happened in a predominately Black neighborhood, and police are calling it a racist hate crime, and it will be prosecuted as such. “We’ve made strides. We’ve made progress great progress. But we still have a long way to go,” he said.

As funeral arrangements are made, Ferrell felt emotional on Wednesday as he holds on to this message. “Faith is what we hold on to,” he said. “Even in the times such as this.”