A heavily armed 18-year-old white man opened fire at a supermarket in a largely Black section of Buffalo, killing 10 people and injuring three more, the authorities said, in a racist attack that turned a sunny Saturday into one of the darkest days in the city’s history.
The suspect was identified as Payton S. Gendron, Conklin (New York). Saturday evening, he pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. This could result in life imprisonment without parole.
The police stated that Gendron was armed and wearing body armor and an assault weapon. He also had a helmet with a video camera that allowed him to stream the live shooting online.
The attack seemed to be inspired by previous massacres motivated racial hatred. This included a New Zealand mosque shooting and another at Walmart in Texas.
A law enforcement official stated that investigators were currently looking into a manifesto believed by Mr. Gendron to have been posted online. It contained racist and anti-immigrant views, which claimed that white Americans were at high risk of being replaced with people of color. This ideology is known as the “The Gendron” ideology. “great replacement” theory. A barrel of his weapon is visible in video and images of the massacre, which appeared to have been captured using the camera attached to his helmet.
According to authorities, eleven of the victims were Black while two were white.
“It was a straight up racially motivated hate crime,”John Garcia, the Erie County sheriff said at a news conference Saturday night.
The authorities stated that the massacre began at 2:20 p.m. when Gendron – who didn’t live in Buffalo and had driven many hours to Conklin to get there – stepped out of his vehicle in tactical gear, body armor, and an assault weapon.
Joseph A. Gramaglia who is the Buffalo police commissioner said that he had shot four people in a parking lot. Three of them died. When he entered the store and continued shooting, he encountered a security guard — a retired Buffalo police officer who returned fire. But Gendron was wearing heavy-metal plating. He killed the guard and continued shooting at shoppers and employees.
He confronted Buffalo police officers and put a gun to the neck of Mr. Gendron. However, two patrolmen persuaded Mr. Gramaglia to surrender his weapon and drop it.
Trini Ross, the United States Attorney in Buffalo, said that her office would investigate hate crimes and kills. Stephen Belongia is the F.B.I. special agent. The Buffalo field office said that the shooting was an accident. “case of racially motivated violent extremism.”
Byron W. Brown, Buffalo’s mayor, stated that he and his family frequently shopped at the store which is an outlet of Tops Friendly Markets. “Some of the victims of this shooter’s attack are people that all of us standing up here know,”He said this, while being surrounded by law enforcement and political leaders.
The attack took place in a neighborhood known as Masten Park on Buffalo’s East Side. Dominique Calhoun lives in close proximity to Tops supermarket and said that she was pulling into its parking lot at the time the shooting took place.
She claimed she saw people screaming and running, so she parked in the street. She was with her daughters, 8-year-old and 9-years old. They had planned to purchase ice cream.
“That literally could have been me,”She spoke out about the people who were killed.
Barbara Massey Mapps was anxiously waiting outside the police tape to hear about her 72-year old sister. She believed she was in the grocery store when the shooting took place. “I’ll be here until I see my sister,”She spoke.
Officials claim that the gunman’s camera was used to broadcast live the attack on Twitch. Twitch is an Amazon-owned livestreaming site popular with gamers. Twitch claimed it had taken down the channel.
“The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content,”A Twitch spokeswoman stated.
Screenshots of broadcast were circulated online, including one that showed the shooter holding and standing over a body inside a grocery store.
Other social media posts showed what was said to be a list of instructions the shooter had made for himself — a to-do list that included “continue writing manifesto”And “test livestream function before the actual attack” — on the messaging platform Discord. The name of the Twitch channel was used as the Discord user name.
Federal authorities are looking into a statement of intent that the gunman posted online. According to a senior federal enforcement official who spoke under anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss details of the investigation,
The document, which circulated on the online message board 4chan, compared the gunman’s plan to other mass shootings motivated by bigotry and promoted the “great replacement” theory.
He stated that he would use the GoPro Hero 7 Black to capture his adventures. “livestream the attack on Twitch,”Which he chose. “all people with the internet could watch and record.”He pointed out that the 2019 shooting at a Halle, Germany Jewish synagogue was also live streamed by Twitch.
He then went on to detail over a dozen pages the tactical gear he recommends for similar attacks. This included knives, vests, and medical equipment. He stated that “conservatism is dead” and that progressives’ advocacy for equality was wrong because, he claimed, the average Black man had a lower IQ than a white man.
According to the, the Buffalo mass shooting killed 10 people. Gun Violence ArchiveThe site tracks them. Six people were killed in a shooting in Sacramento on April 3, the previous year’s highest. Six people were also shot to death in Corsicana (Texas) on February 5. The same number were also killed in a shooting that occurred in Milwaukee on January 23, according the site.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday that gun deaths rose by 35 percent in 2020, the first year following the pandemic.
“This is a historic increase, with the rate having reached the highest level in over 25 years,”Dr. Debra E. Houry, acting principal deputy director at the C.D.C. at a news briefing this Wednesday, Debra E. Houry, acting principal assistant director of C.D.C.
Reporting was contributed to by Dan Higgins (Luke Hammill), Glenn Thrush and Adam Goldman, Alexandra E. Petri as well as Vimal Patel, Vimal Patel, Eduardo Medina and Ashley Southall. Jack Begg contributed research.