A total of 13 people were shot in the incident that happened just after 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue in a Black neighborhood, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. The three others shot have non life-threatening injuries.
The alleged gunman, now identified as 18-year-old Payton Gendron, of the town of Conklin in Broome County, New York, has been charged multiple counts of first-degree murder.
Conklin is about three hours away from Buffalo. Binghamton is Broome County's largest city.
The suspect was heavily armed, had tactical gear, a tactical helmet and "was live streaming what he was doing" on an unspecified social media platform, Gramaglia said.
"This was pure evil," Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said at a press conference. "It was a straight-up, racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community, coming into our community and trying to inflect evil upon us."
CBS is reporting the suspect was yelling racial slurs during the shooting and had a racial slur written on his weapon.
Gramaglia said the gunman put the weapon to his neck when he saw officers who talked him into putting it down and surrendering,
Eleven of the 13 shot are Black, Gramaglia said.
President Biden and US Attorney General Merrick Garland have both been briefed on the shooting. The FBI is investigating the attack as a hate crime and as violent extremism.
The suspect shot four people in the parking lot, three of whom died, before entering the store, said Gramaglia.
One of those shot and killed inside the store was a beloved, retired Buffalo PD officer, who was working as a security guard at the market, Gramaglia said. Three other store employees were killed.
"We are hurting and we are seething right now as a community," Brown said. "The depth of pain the families are feeling and we are all feeling cannot be explained."
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul flew into Buffalo Saturday evening after being notified of the shooting.
“I am heartbroken for the victims whose lives were cut short in today’s horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, which was a racially motivated hate crime," said NY State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers. "There is no place in New York for hate and white supremacy or any other hate based ideology.
"This targeted attack against Black Americans is not a new phenomenon in this country, and now is the time that we as a nation come together to confront this hatred. My thoughts are with the victims' families whose lives have been shattered by this cruel act of racial hatred and senseless violence.”
US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said: "My prayers are with the victims of this racially motivated act of violence. My heart goes out to the victims' loved ones, our emergency personnel and the entire Buffalo community. Racism, prejudice and hatred have no place in our state or our country."
This continues to be a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.
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