Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff on Saturday will attend the memorial service of Ruth Whitfield, one of the victims of the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, the White House said.
The second family will also meet with families of other victims to offer their condolences, a White House statement added.
Harris’ visit will come two weeks after a gunman killed 10 people on May 14 at a supermarket in a mass shooting motivated by racism. Saturday’s visit marks the first time the vice president has visited the community in the aftermath of the tragedy, which left the western New York in shock and mourning.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited the area in the first days after the shooting happened, calling the tragedy an act of domestic terrorism and condemning the racist ideology of the suspected shooter.
“White supremacy is a poison. It’s a poison … running through our body politic,” Biden said in a speech at the time, adding that silence is “complicity.”
Biden’s visited the site of a mass shooting, where he stopped at a memorial site for the victims near the Tops Friendly Market. The first lady placed a bouquet of flowers and the first couple bowed their heads in a moment of silence.
Harris also has been vocal in condemning racism in the wake of the shooting.
“In our country, we have to recognize that we may very well be experiencing an epidemic of hate toward so many Americans that is wrong,” Harris told reporters a day after the shooting happened, ahead of a trip abroad.
“We should interpret as being hate against all of us, as a nation. We are a nation that prides itself on our diversity as an element of our strength.”
Harris will attend the funeral of Whitfield, 86, who was the mother of former Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told CNN that Garnell Whitfield said his mother had been visiting the former commissioner’s father in the nursing home, as she did each day, and she stopped at the supermarket to buy some groceries.