10 killed in mass shooting in Buffalo supermarket; indicted suspect

A teenage gun boy wearing military gear and live streaming with a camera on his helmet opened fire with a shotgun at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in what authorities described as “racially motivated violent extremism.” killing 10 people and injuring three others on Saturday before he surrendered, authorities said.

Police officials said the 18-year-old gunman, who is white, was wearing bulletproof vests and military-style clothing when he stopped and opened fire on people in a Tops Friendly Market, the shooting was broadcast in streaming via a camera fixed on the man’s helmet.

“He got out of his vehicle. He was very heavily armed. He had tactical equipment. He had a tactical helmet. He had a camera that was broadcasting what he was doing live,” City Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said at a later press conference. .

Gramaglia said the gunman initially shot four people outside the shop, three to death. Inside the shop, a security guard who was a retired Buffalo Police officer fired multiple shots at the gunman and hit him, but the bullet hit the gunman’s body armor and had no effect, added Gramaglia. The commissioner said the gunman then killed the security guard.

The video also caught the suspect walking into the supermarket where he shot several other victims, according to authorities.

Police said 11 of the victims were black and two were white. The supermarket is located in a mostly black neighborhood a few miles (kilometers) north of downtown Buffalo.

“This is the worst nightmare any community can face, and we are suffering and seething right now,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at the news conference. “The depth of pain families are experiencing and all of us are experiencing right now cannot even be explained.”

Gramaglia said Buffalo PD entered the shop and confronted the gunman in the hall.

“At that point the suspect pointed the gun to his neck. Buffalo police personnel – two patrol officers – persuaded the suspect to drop the gun. He dropped the gun, took off some of his tactical equipment. , at which point he gave up. And he was led out, put in a police car, “he said.

The suspected gunman was later identified as Payton Gendron, of Conklin, a New York state community about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Buffalo, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. . Officials were not allowed to speak publicly on the matter and did so on condition of anonymity.

Wearing a hospital gown, Gendron was charged in court on Saturday night on first-degree murder charges and sentenced to detention without bail. Another court hearing is scheduled for next week.

At the previous news briefing, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia explicitly called the shooting a hate crime.

“This was pure evil. It was a hate crime directly motivated by race by someone outside our community, outside the City of Good Neighbors … coming into our community and trying to inflict that evil on us.” Garcia said.

Elsewhere, NAACP President Derrick Johnson released a statement calling the shooting “absolutely devastating.”

“Our hearts are with the community and all those affected by this terrible tragedy. Hate and racism have no place in America. We are shocked, extremely angry and pray for the families and loved ones of the victims,” ​​he added. .

Separately, Reverend Al Sharpton called on the White House to call a meeting with blacks, Jews and Asians “to emphasize that the federal government (is) stepping up its efforts against hate crime.” In a tweet, Sharpton said that “the leaders of all these communities should stand together on this one!”

The shooting occurred just over a year after a March 2021 attack on a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, which killed 10 people. Investigators have not released any information as to why they believe the man accused of the attack targeted the supermarket.

On the scene in Buffalo Saturday afternoon, police closed an entire block lined with onlookers, and yellow police surrounded the entire parking lot.

Witnesses Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, both 20, pulled up in the parking lot just as the killer was leaving. They described him as a white male in his late teens or early twenties who sported full camouflage, a black helmet, and what appeared to be a shotgun.

“He was there with the gun pointed to his chin. We were like what the hell is going on? Why does this guy have a gun pointed to his face?” Kefart said. He fell to his knees. “He tore off his helmet, he dropped his gun and was attacked by the police.”

Tops Friendly Markets released a statement stating, “We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”

In the White House, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden was receiving regular updates on the shooting and investigation and had offered prayers with the first lady for the victims and their loved ones.

“The president was briefed by his national security advisor about the horrific shooting in Buffalo, New York this afternoon. He will continue to receive updates throughout the evening and tomorrow as more information develops,” he said.

Attorney General Merrick Garland was informed of the shooting, Department of Justice spokesman Anthony Coley said.

More than two hours after the shooting, Erica Pugh-Mathews was waiting outside the store, behind the police tape.

“We would like to know the status of my aunt, my mother’s sister. She was there with her boyfriend, they separated and went to different corridors,” she said. “A bullet barely missed her. She managed to hide in a freezer but she couldn’t reach my aunt and she doesn’t know where she is. We just want a word either way if she’s okay.” .

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