- Thirteen people were shot, 10 dead, on Saturday afternoon at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York.
- The suspected shooter, identified as Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York, has been charged with first-degree murder.
- Law enforcement officials called the shooting a “racially motivated hate crime.”
A teenage gunman in tactical gear opened fire at a crowded supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo on Saturday, killing 10 people and three, authorities said. Others injured in the country’s latest notorious crime appear to be motivated by hatred, authorities said.
Officials said the suspected gunman, an 18-year-old white man, traveled several hours across New York carrying out the attack, which he livestreamed on social media. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said 11 of the 13 people shot were Black, said at a news conference.
Governor Kathy Hochul called the gunman a “white supremacist” who terrorized New York’s second-largest city in a “cold” “military execution” while people were shopping. grocery.
“We were thrilled to learn that there is something evil lurking out there,” she said. “This individual – this white supremacist – who has just committed a hate crime against an innocent community, will spend the rest of his days behind bars. And heaven helps him in too. next world.”
Representative Brian Higgins said the suspect was carrying an assault weapon engraved with a racial symbol.
“I’ve been on the spot for the past three hours and I’ve listened carefully to what the FBI, police, district attorneys and US attorneys have to say,” Higgins said. “There’s no doubt this is a racially motivated attack.”
The suspect, identified as Payton Gendron of Conklin, a New York community about 200 miles southeast of Buffalo, was arrested following the attack. He was charged with first-degree murder and appeared in court Saturday night with a bandage on his shoulder.
John Flynn, the Erie district attorney, said that along with the murder charge, his office and federal authorities are on the hunt for others ranging from terrorists to criminals.
The supermarket is about three miles north of downtown Buffalo. The surrounding area is mostly residential and is surrounded by homes, along with a Family Dollar store, barber shops, launderette, and fire station. Authorities said evidence showed the suspect displayed racial hostility but declined to elaborate.
Gramaglia said the gunman was wearing tactical gear and was armed with an assault-style rifle. He parked his car outside Tops Friendly Market around 2:30 p.m. and opened fire in the parking lot, killing three people and injuring a fourth. Then he went inside and continued his rampage, Gramaglia said.
A retired Buffalo police officer, who was working as a security guard at the store, confronted the gunman and shot him. Authorities said the gunman was hit by a bullet, but his tactical gear prevented the injury.
The gunman returned fire, killing the guard.
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The gunman walked through the store, shooting at others before being caught by law enforcement near the lobby. Authorities said the gunman pointed a weapon to his head and authorities were able to negotiate his surrender.
“This is the worst nightmare any community can face, we’re traumatized and we’re boiling right now,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at a meeting. newspaper. “The depth of pain that families are feeling and all of us are feeling right now cannot even be explained.”
The Buffalo attack and it was quickly determined that the attack was racially motivated drew an early resemblance to The 2019 attack in El Paso, Texas where a gun-wielding man confessed to traveling hundreds of miles targeting Hispanics at a local Walmart. The Texas attack left 23 people dead. In the Buffalo case, a law enforcement official said, investigators are looking at posts believed to be related to the shooter indicating that the assault was motivated by hatred.
“We are investigating this incident as both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism,” said Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office.
Over the past year, FBI Director Christopher Wray has repeatedly warned of the threat posed by violent extremists with racial motives, telling Congress that such incidents are “the largest part” in the the bureau’s domestic terrorism investigations. Last year, Wray told a Senate committee, the same group responsible for the deadliest attacks of the past decade.
Authorities say the gunman live-streamed the attack on social media. Footage shows the gunman, wearing military uniform, pulling up to the front of the store with a rifle in the front seat and then pointing the gun at people in the parking lot as he exits his vehicle and opens fire, a real official said. law exam told the Associated Press.
It also showed the suspect entering the supermarket and shooting several other victims, the official said.
Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said: “This is a total crime. “It was a racially motivated hate crime straight from someone outside of our community.”
Higgins acknowledged that authorities were reviewing the contents of a graphic manifesto in which the attacker referred to other racially motivated attackers, including Dylann Roof, a purists. white supremacist who killed nine people in 2015 at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
“This is what all the anecdotal evidence adds up to,” says Higgins.
Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, both 20, said they had just pulled into the store’s parking lot when they saw the alleged gunman leaving and taken into custody.
“He was standing there with the gun to his chin. We were like what the hell is going on? Why is this kid holding a gun to his face? “
Hochul said the suspect obtained the rifle used in the attack legally but the weapon was modified with illegal magazines. New York prohibits the sale of any magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.
She said law enforcement is working to determine where to buy the magazines but noted that they can be purchased almost anywhere in Pennsylvania. She did not elaborate on how many rounds the magazines could hold.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the attack and is praying for those affected, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
NAACP President Derrick Johnson called the shooting “absolutely devastating”.
“Our hearts go out to the community and everyone who has been affected by this terrible tragedy. Hate and racism have no place in America. We are devastated, deeply angry and praying for the family and loved ones of the victim,” he added in a statement.
Father Al Sharpton issued a series of tweets, calling on the White House to convene a meeting with Blacks, Jews and Asians “to highlight the Federal government (is) escalating its efforts to combat hate crimes.” He added “the leaders of all these communities should stand together on this issue!”
Hochul also expressed the need for change, noting that the gunman is active online and shares both racist views as well as a live stream of his rampage.
“There’s been a frenzy on social media platforms where haters outnumber haters. That has to stop,” she said. These stores must be more vigilant in monitoring content on social networks. “
Contribution: Diana Dombrowski, News Magazine; Related press.