Aaron Salter, Jr. was a beloved retired Buffalo police officer who worked as a security guard at Tops grocery store on the city’s eastside, which is predominantly Black. He was also one of the 10 victims of a racially-motivated mass shooting on May 14.
My buddy. Roasted me every time I came in the store because I always had to rassle with those broke down shopping carts. If I'm not mistaken, he only took that security job because he was bored from being retired. pic.twitter.com/PiWHHcHSLA
— ERRCUH (@egemini618) May 15, 2022
Beyond his day job, however, Salter spent the past decade developing a car engine fueled on water. He documented the entire process on the YouTube channel Cal’El M. Dayhaat’e, which now contains thousands of views and comment sections full of tributes to Salter for his intelligence and dedication to developing the engine.
“I was skeptical myself, I didn’t think it would work,” Salter said in a 2015 interview, “but I just wanted to see if you could get hydrogen from water.”
Salter first looked into alternative fueling methods once local gas prices passed $5. The first time he tried putting water in his car engine was in 2012. The method worked as he briefly drove down the street at 30 miles per hour before the car cut off. He then continued his research and tried different methods to get the engine to run through electrolysis, and went as far as having his invention patented.
“There have literally been thousands and thousands of people who have been trying to find a holy grail of getting vehicles to run through electrolysis,” Salter said.
He said he asked mechanics around his community about electrolysis, but none of them knew what it was, despite the fact it’s been around since the 1800s. Electrolysis is the breaking down of molecules, a process that would allow him to extract hydrogen from water.
Over the years, Salter created an entire system for the water-powered engine with pieces like a cooling system and circulation system.
Salter spent the last moments of his life firing back at the gunman who took nine other lives that fatal day. His acts perhaps slowed down the alleged terrorist and minimized the number of victims. On May 25 at his funeral service, his acts of heroism were recognized as he received the Medal of Honor and was promoted to lieutenant by the Buffalo Police Department.