A shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York on Saturday left at least ten people dead and three others injured in what police are investigating as a hate crime and “ownership”. violent extremism with racial motives”.
The Buffalo Police Department said an 18-year-old man was taken into custody following the attack that took place at the TOPS Friendly Market.
Local officials said the suspect drove “hours” to Buffalo from another New York state, armed with an assault rifle, tactical gear and a camera for him to stream. continue the shooting.
Erie County Sheriff John Garcia described the shooting as “absolutely evil” and “indicated a racially motivated hate crime from someone outside of our community”.
Police said they had evidence that there was a racial component to the shooting without elaborating. Eleven victims were black and two were white. They will not comment on reports that the alleged shooter posted a racist manifesto online before the attack.
The shooting began around 2:30 p.m. EST when the suspect allegedly shot four people in the TOPS parking lot, killing three, Buffalo police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told reporters.
Once inside, he was shot in the chest by the store’s security guard, a retired Buffalo police officer, but the bullet hit the gunman’s armor. He returned fire and killed the security guard, Gramaglia said.
Gramaglia described the three people’s injuries as “non-life threatening”.
Local police said they would charge the suspect with first-degree murder and receive a life sentence without parole. But the FBI said it was also investigating the incident as a hate crime and a racially motivated violent extremism case.
“This is the worst nightmare any community can face. And we’re hurting and we’re boiling right now as a community,” Buffalo mayor Byron Brown said at a news conference. “The depth of the pain that families are feeling and all of us are feeling right now cannot even be explained.”
“I pray that this will not exacerbate racial tensions,” Brown said.
Trini Ross, US attorney for the western district of New York, said her office is also treating the case as violent extremism and hate crime: “I hope that this will mount we’re together…..don’t divide us,” she told reporters.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she was “closely monitoring the shooting” and her administration had offered to assist local officials.
The incident was the 198th mass shooting in the US so far this year, claiming the lives of 210 people, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks mass murders.