Scammers have tried to steal $40,000 from a GoFundMe set up to help the family of a Buffalo security guard who died trying to take down an active shooter

Scammers have tried to steal $40,000 from a GoFundMe set up to help the family of a Buffalo security guard who died trying to take down an active shooter.

Aaron Salter Jr., 55, was working as a security guard at the Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo, New York on May 14 when a gunman walked into the store with an assault rifle.

He immediately sprang into action – and pulled out his own weapon, firing multiple times at the gunman – who was later identified as 18-year-old Payton Gendron – but his bullets were unable to pierce Gendron’s armored plating, and Gendron was able to return firreports, it was targeted by a scammer who tried to steal Aaron Salter III’s personal information and bank account numbers.

He told the outlet that he was combing through messages on the page, when he saw one from a user claiming they wanted to donate $4,000.

When he clicked on the message, though, Salter III said his personal information was sent to someone in Mississippi.

Fortunately, he said he was able to get in touch with someone at the fundraising website – and they got the account back in his family’s hands.

A spokesperson later confirmed to TMZ that they responded to a phishing attempt against the Salter family and were able to secure the account.

The funds – which have now topped $45,000 – are now being delivered once again to the family. 

Retired Buffalo Police Department cop Aaron Salter, pictured right, was working as a store security guard and shot suspect Payton Gendron, who returned fire and killed Salter

Retired Buffalo Police Department cop Aaron Salter, pictured right, was working as a store security guard and shot suspect Payton Gendron, who returned fire and killed Salter 

In the aftermath of his death on May 14, his son Aaron Salter III (pictured) set up a GoFundMe for the family

In the aftermath of his death on May 14, his son Aaron Salter III (pictured) set up a GoFundMe for the family

Aaron Salter III said a scammer tried to get the $40,000 from the GoFundMe

Aaron Salter III said a scammer tried to get the $40,000 from the GoFundMe

Salter Jr.was hailed as a hero following the mass shooting at the Buffalo supermarket where 10 black people were killed at the hands of an apparent white supremacist.

He had previously worked as a Buffalo Police Department officer for 30 years – joining after he graduated from high school.

During his time in the force, he helped put out a kitchen fire and was able to catch the arsonist as he tried to escape in 1992.  

Gendron, of Conklin, New York, was indicted by a grand jury on a single count of first-degree murder

Gendron, of Conklin, New York, was indicted by a grand jury on a single count of first-degree murder

Four years later, Salter and his partner responded to a burglary  in progress when they were confronted by a 25-year-old man, who approached them from behind and pointed a loaded 12-gauge shotgun at them.

Salter’s partner quickly responded, shooting at the assailant, but missing.

Still, Salter said, those quick reflexes likely saved his life.

‘My first reaction was to duck,’ he told the at the time.’I don’t enjoy looking down the barrel of a shotgun, and if it hadn’t been for my partner shooting first, it would have been a golden opportunity to shoot us.

‘My partner probably saved us.’ 

Salter, a father of three, later retired from the Buffalo Police Department, and decided to take a job at the supermarket where his late mother, Carol, worked a s a cashier for 15 years before serving as a front-end manager until her retirement in 1986, according to the .

She and her late husband, Aaron Salter Sr., then opened a dry cleaners, which they ran until it closed in 1998. 

Outside of his police and security work, Salter was said to be interested in green energy and had set up his own company.

‘I’m always working on my vehicles and or my project of running engines on water for the last four years or so,’ he wrote on LinkedIn. ‘I would like to realize my dream of getting cars to run off of water using my newly discovered energy source some day.’

By 2015, he shared a video on Facebook of his hydrogen-electrolysis powered Ford F150 pickup truck, which he said could be started with gasoline and then switched over to run on water.

‘The guys used to laugh at me,’ he said in an interview that same year as he described a solar array he once installed at his home.

He was said to be a big fan of the ABC show Shark Tank, and after seeing pictures of him posing with posters advertising one of the sharks, Daymond John, the shark decided to help the Salter family pay for the funeral expenses.   

Outside of his police work, Salter was said to be interested in green energy and had set up his own company. He was said to be a big fan of Shark Tank host Daymond John, who has now offered to pay for Salter's funeral expenses

Outside of his police work, Salter was said to be interested in green energy and had set up his own company.He was said to be a big fan of Shark Tank host Daymond John, who has now offered to pay for Salter’s funeral expenses

Salter’s family now remembers him as a hero, with his son, Aaron Salter III telling the Daily Beast: ‘Today is a shock.

‘I’m pretty sure he saved some lives today. He’s a hero.’

Johnny Juliano, who claims to be one of his cousins, also posted a tribute to the late police officer, describing him as ‘a true hero who risked his life trying to defend those helpless during a racist attack/ mass shooting . 

‘Retired BPD who was loved by all you [truly] will be missed and remembered for your heroic gesture,’ he wrote. 

That proved to be true as Buffalo Police Chief Joseph Gramaglia described Salter as ‘a beloved security guard’ and ‘a hero in our eyes.’

And just a few days later, President Joe Biden paid tribute to the fallen security guard as he honored 15 public safety officers, including two officers who died in the line of duty, during a ceremony in the East Room last Monday.

‘He gave his life when a gunman shot and killed 10 innocent people in a grocery store in Buffalo on Saturday.He was actually able to shoot the assailant twice but he had on a bulletproof vest. He lost his life in the process,’ Biden said at the Medal of Valor event at the .

The Medal of Valor is awarded to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect others from harm. 

‘No one understands more than all of you here today the pain and anguish all the families in Buffalo feel,’ Biden said. 

‘You are part of a special community because fire fighters and police officers will always be there for you,’ he said. ‘I want to say a special thanks to you all for being here because I know it’s hard.’

All ten of of the victims of the Tops Friendly Markets mass shooting have been named by family members. They are all black

All ten of of the victims of the Tops Friendly Markets mass shooting have been named by family members.They are all black

Several of the other victims of Saturday’s brutal shooting were just everyday residents doing their shopping, including Ruth Whitfield, an 86-year-old grandmother, who is also the mother of former Buffalo fire commissioner Garnell Whitfield, was killed while shopping for groceries.

She had just visireports and had asked her fiancée to go to another aisle to retrieve something off one of the shelves when the gunfire started.< she never saw Gendron, but heard the sounds of his assault rifle.

She and Chaney were trying to flee when the 65-year-old was shot.

‘She fell and I thought she had got up and was behind me, but she wasn’t behind me,’ Daniels recalled. 

Roberta Drury, 32, was at the store to buy groceries for dinner when she was fatally shot, mersinescort her sister Amanda Drury, 34, said.

She had moved to Buffalo from the Syracuse, New York, are reports. 

But ‘he never came out with the cake,’ his cousin Clarissa Alston-McCutcheon said, describing her cousin as a ‘loving and caring guy’ who ‘loved family’ and ‘was always there for his family.

Heyward Patterson, who would often give people rides to and from the supermarket and help them carry their groceries, was also among the 10 people fatally shot, according to Patterson’s great niece Teniqua Clark.

He earned the nickname ‘Jitney’ because of his help at the grocer.

He was also a church deacon and would welcome parishioners and escort them to their seats.

‘He would give the shirt off his back,’ his wife, Tirzah Patterson, told .’That’s who he is. He wouldn’t hurt anybody. Whatever he had, he’d give it to you.’

And Margus Morrison, 52, was a father of three who was an active bus aide for Buffalo schools since February 2019, reports.

His family later confirmed he was killed in the deadly shooting.

Gendron, 18, wore all orange as he's brought into the courtroom Thursday and indicted on first-degree murder

Gendron, 18, wore all orange as he’s brought into the courtroom Thursday and indicted on first-degree murder

Gendron, meanwhile, was indicted by a grand jury on a single count of first-degree murder.

He appeared in court Thursday wearing a white mask and bright orange jail scrubs, remaining silent throughout the proceeding despite being heckled by a victim’s distraught family member who yelled out: ‘Payton, you coward!’ 

The first-degree murder indictment, which covers all 10 deaths, was handed up Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Gary Hackbush announced in court. 

In New York, prosecutors can charge a defendant with first-degree murder only under special circumstances, including when multiple people are killed in a single incident, like in the Buffalo shooting that claimed the lives of 10 people on Saturday.The single count against Gendron covers all 10 deaths at Tops Friendly Market.

No domestic terror charges have been filed in federal court at this time but he also faces domestic terrorism charges.

Gendron will be back in court on June 9 at 9:30 a.m.He is being held without bail. 

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox news" data-version="2" id="mol-74f9e220-d9ee-11ec-bcab-d1bf7a303a8a" website try to steal from GoFundMe for Buffalo shooting hero

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