BUFFALO, NY — Bills Hall of Fame Declines Thurman Thomas told The Associated Press that he and several former teammates are gathering in Buffalo this week to help the families of the victims of a shooting at a Buffalo supermarket.
Among the players expected to make the trip are Hall of Famers defense Bruce Smith and receiver Andre Reed, along with Thomas and Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, who like Thomas lives in the area. .
“Those guys immediately said, ‘We’ll be here this week, because that’s our city. We love it and we want to be supportive,'” Thomas said. “They want to see what they can do and how they can help because they’ve been really part of this community for a number of years and they want to continue to help.”
Thomas and his wife, Patti, said their family foundation has raised more than $100,000 to help the city and its residents in the aftermath of the shooting.
“I’m a little emotional now. Really,” Thomas said at a press conference with city officials on Monday. “I hurt for the city I love. I hurt for the people on the East Side, their families, our friends and our community. You read about things that happen in other states, but when it’s here at home, it’s It’s really tough and this is a time we need to come together.”
The attack took place on Saturday afternoon when a white 18-year-old man opened fire at a Tops Friendly Markets in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo. Authorities have described the act as “racially motivated violent extremism”. Ten people were killed in the shooting.
The four Hall of Famers were key members of the Buffalo teams that won four consecutive AFC championships, though they lost each year in the Super Bowl.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.