BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A teenage gunman carrying navy gear and livestreaming with a helmet digital camera opened hearth with a rifle at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store in what authorities described as “racially motived violent extremism,” killing 10 folks and wounding three others Saturday earlier than he surrendered, authorities stated.
Police officers stated the 18-year-old gunman, who’s white, was carrying physique armor and military-style clothes when he pulled up and opened hearth at folks at a Tops Friendly Market, the taking pictures streamed through a digital camera affixed to the person’s helmet.
“He exited his vehicle. He was very heavily armed. He had tactical gear. He had a tactical helmet on. He had a camera that he was livestreaming what he was doing,” metropolis Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia stated at a information convention afterward.
Gramaglia stated the gunman initially shot 4 folks outdoors the shop, three fatally. Inside the shop, a safety guard who was a retired Buffalo police officer fired a number of photographs on the gunman and struck him, however the bullet hit the gunman’s bulletproof vest and had no impact, Gramaglia added. The commissioner stated the gunman then killed the safety guard.
Video additionally captured the suspect as he walked into the grocery store the place he shot a number of different victims inside, based on authorities.
Police stated 11 of the victims had been Black and two are white. The grocery store is in a predominantly Black neighborhood just a few miles (kilometers) north of downtown Buffalo.
“This is the worst nightmare that any community can face, and we are hurting and we are seething right now,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown stated on the information convention. “The depth of pain that families are feeling and that all of us are feeling right now cannot even be explained.”
Gramaglia stated Buffalo police entered the shop and confronted the gunman within the vestibule.
“At that point the suspect put the gun to his own neck. Buffalo police personnel — two patrol officers — talked the suspect into dropping the gun. He dropped the gun, took off some of his tactical gear, surrendered at that point. And he was led outside, put in a police car,” he stated.
The suspected gunman was later recognized as Payton Gendron, of Conklin, a New York state neighborhood about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Buffalo, two legislation enforcement officers advised The Associated Press. The officers weren’t permitted to talk publicly on the matter and did so on the situation of anonymity.
Wearing a hospital robe, Gendron was arraigned in court docket Saturday night on first-degree homicide costs and ordered detained with out bail. Another court docket listening to is scheduled for subsequent week.
At the sooner information briefing, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia pointedly known as the taking pictures a hate crime.
“This was pure evil. It was straight up racially motivated hate crime from someone outdoors of our neighborhood, outdoors of the City of Good neighbors … coming into our neighborhood and making an attempt to inflict that evil upon us,” Garcia stated.
Elsewhere, NAACP President Derrick Johnson issued a press release by which he known as the taking pictures “completely devastating.”
“Our hearts are with the neighborhood and all who’ve been impacted by this horrible tragedy. Hate and racism haven’t any place in America. We are shattered, extraordinarily angered and praying for the victims’ households and family members,” he added.
Separately, the Rev. Al Sharpton known as on the White House to convene a gathering with Black, Jewish and Asian “to underscore the Federal government (is) escalating its efforts against hate crimes.” In a tweet, Sharpton stated that “leaders of all these communities should stand together on this!”
The taking pictures got here little greater than a yr after a March 2021 assault at a King Soopers grocery in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 folks. Investigators haven’t launched any details about why they imagine the person charged in that assault focused the grocery store.
At the scene in Buffalo on Saturday afternoon, police closed off a whole block, lined by spectators, and yellow police taped surrounded the complete parking zone.
Witnesses Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, each 20, pulled into the parking zone simply because the shooter was exiting. They described him as a white male in his late teenagers or early twenties sporting full camo, a black helmet and what gave the impression to be a rifle.
“He was standing there with the gun to his chin. We were like what the heck is going on? Why does this kid have a gun to his face?” Kephart said. He dropped to his knees. “He ripped off his helmet, dropped his gun, and was tackled by the police.”
Tops Friendly Markets launched a press release saying, “We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”
At the White House, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated President Joe Biden was receiving common updates on the taking pictures and the investigation and had supplied prayers with the primary woman for the victims and their family members.
“The president has been briefed by his Homeland Security advisor on the horrific taking pictures in Buffalo, N.Y., this afternoon. He will proceed to obtain updates all through the night and tomorrow as additional info develops,” she stated.
Attorney General Merrick Garland was briefed on the taking pictures, Justice Department spokesperson Anthony Coley stated.
More than two hours after the taking pictures, Erica Pugh-Mathews was ready outdoors the shop, behind police tape.
“We would like to know the status of my aunt, my mother’s sister. She was in there with her fiance, they separated and went to different aisles,” she said. “A bullet barely missed him. He was able to hide in a freezer but he was not able to get to my aunt and does not know where she is. We just would like word either way if she’s OK.”
Associated Press reporters John Wawrow in Buffalo and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report. Balsamo reported from Washington and Collins reported from Hartford, Connecticut.
Carolyn Thompson, Michael Balsamo And Dave Collins, The Associated Press