Christopher Moyer lives with his family just down the street from the Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, where his adoptive sister, Roberta Drury, 32, was killed in Saturday’s shooting.
Moyer is recovering from leukemia – having had a bone marrow transplant a few years ago – and said Roberta would often shop for groceries for his family.
“She would go to Tops for us all the time, actually,” Moyer told NPR. “We don’t really have family in the area, so it was just a great help that she could do something for us like that.”
It was at that Tops supermarket where Roberta and nine other people were shot and killed Saturday in a shooting motivated by racism.
“It’s very hard on the family,” Moyer said. “This was very unexpected.”
The shooting rocked the small Buffalo neighborhood where it occurred and reverberated across the country. President Biden called the shooting an “racially motivated act of white supremacy.” A “nightmare” is how Buffalo mayor Byron Brown described it.
When Moyer first heard news of the attack, he figured his sister was probably safe. But then he started to hear from some of Roberta’s friends, who told him she’d gone to the store and hadn’t come back.
“We then started to become concerned. And she always has her phone on her, so when we tried to reach her by phone, she didn’t respond,” he said.
Moyer thanked those who’ve reached out to offer support and praised first responders, including the store’s security guard, Aaron Salter, who was also killed in the shooting.
Roberta struggled with personal issues, Moyer said, but noted that he’ll remember how she’d pick up groceries and spend time with his two kids. He said the violence came as a complete shock to the tight-knit, predominantly Black community.
“This is a real blow and a real tragedy to the area,” Moyer said. “I don’t think anyone saw something like this coming.”