At Least 10 People Have Been Killed In A Mass Shooting At A Supermarket In Buffalo
Investigators reportedly believe the shooting was livestreamed and are investigating whether the attack in a majority-Black neighborhood was racially motivated.
At least 10 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, according to law enforcement officials who spoke to the Associated Press.
At a news conference, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the shooting "pure evil."
"It was [a] straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community," he said.
The US attorney's office announced that the FBI was investigating the shooting, which occurred around 2:30 p.m., as a hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism.
The shooting took place at Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue in the neighborhood of Masten Park, a predominantly Black neighborhood.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia described the shooter as an 18-year-old white man, and told reporters that he was wearing tactical gear and using a camera to livestream the attack.
Gramaglia said the shooter started opening fire in the parking lot before making his way inside the store, where he continued shooting people until police officers were able to talk him into dropping his weapon.
Saturday night, the Erie County District Attorney's Office identified the shooter as Payton S. Gendron of Conklin, a rural New York town more than 200 miles from Buffalo.
Gendron was arraigned on first-degree murder charges in Buffalo City Court and is now being held without bail. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison without parole. He is expected to appear in court Thursday morning.
In a video message Sunday morning, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said that they have "evidence that this potentially was racially motivated" and "evidence that potentially may lead us to a terrorism charge."
Mark Poloncarz, who is the Erie County executive and was on the ground with fellow local officials at the supermarket-shooting aftermath, tweeted that it was a "horrible day in the history our community."
"Like too many communities in our nation, we've been impacted by the horror [of] a mass shooting," he added. "My thoughts are about the deceased and with their families at this terrible time."
Videos posted to social media from different angles appear to show two bodies in the parking lot outside the supermarket, surrounded by first responders.
In one video posted online, a white man in army fatigues can be seen being taken into custody by police.
In another, an injured person is being wheeled on a gurney.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted that she had offered assistance to local officials and that she was “closely monitoring the shooting."
The American Public Health Association says gun violence in the US is a public health crisis. It is a leading cause of premature death in the country, responsible for more than 38,000 deaths annually. As of May 14, at least 15,825 people have died from gun violence this year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
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