Ten people were killed and three more injured in what authorities described as a “racially motivated” shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York on Saturday.
Police arrested Payton Gendron, an 18-year-old white male, after he – armed with an assault rifle and wearing a tactical vest – opened fire outside and inside the Tops Friendly Market. The market is located in a mostly black neighborhood, about 3 miles north of downtown Buffalo.
At a press conference on Saturday, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the shooting a hate crime.
“This was pure evil,” Garcia said. “It was a racially motivated hate crime by someone outside our community coming into our community and trying to inflict that evil on us.”
Eleven of the 13 people who were shot and killed are black and two are white. In a press conference on Saturday night, New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) called the killer “a white supremacist who has committed an act of terrorism and will be prosecuted as such”.
Gendron traveled from Conklin, NY, about a three-and-a-half hour drive from Buffalo.
“This is the worst nightmare any community can face, and we are suffering and seething right now,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at a news conference. “The depth of pain families are experiencing and all of us are experiencing right now cannot even be explained.”
Police also confirmed that the suspect streamed the shooting on Twitch. In a statement, a Twitch spokesperson confirmed there was a live broadcast of the shooting and said the company was working to monitor any re-streaming of the content.
The identities of the victims were not released, but Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Saturday that one of the victims was a “beloved” retired Buffalo Police Officer who worked as a security guard for the store. Gramaglia said the security guard was killed when he exchanged gunshots with the suspect, hitting the gunman once in his armor.