Ten people were killed and three others were injured when a man opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, authorities said Saturday. Police said the shooter, who is now in custody, has been charged with murder, which officials call hate crime, and racially motivated violent extremism.

“It was pure evil,” Eri County Sheriff John Garcia said. “It was an open crime based on racially motivated hatred by someone outside our community.”

At about 2:30 p.m., an 18-year-old white man got out of his car at the Tops Friendly Market, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramalia told a news conference. The suspect was “very heavily armed” and had a tactical helmet and equipment, Gramaglia said. Police said he also had a camera and he conducted a live broadcast of the footage.

According to him, the suspect shot four people in the parking lot before entering the store, killing three. As soon as he went inside, he was confronted by a “favorite” retired Buffalo policeman who worked as a store security guard. The guard made several shots that hit the suspect, but they did not affect him because of his tactical equipment, Gramaglia said. The suspect then killed an unnamed security guard.

The suspect eventually returned to the store and clashed with police, Gramaglia said. He put the gun to his neck when he saw police, but officers persuaded him to put it down and surrender, Gramaglia said. He was then taken into custody.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said the suspect, Peyton Hendron, was brought to justice for first-degree murder, the most serious murder charge under New York law. Hendron pleaded not guilty.

The charge is life imprisonment without parole. The criminal case is scheduled for May 19.

Flynn said Saturday night that his office is now investigating potential terrorism charges and other murder charges. At an earlier news conference, Flynn said the suspect, who allegedly used assault weapons in the shooting, was not known to law enforcement.

Flynn said Hendron came from Conklin, New York, which is about a three and a half hour drive from Buffalo. Officials said it was unclear why he chose the place.

Police cars on the scene of a shooting at a Buffalo supermarket
The crowd gathers when police are investigating the shooting that killed several people at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, May 14, 2022. Police said the alleged shooter is in custody.

Joshua Basex / AP

Stephen Belong, a special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo office, said the case was seen as a hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism. Officials did not go into detail about why they made the decision, but said the evidence points to some “racial hostility.”

A source in law enforcement told CBS News that the suspect allegedly shouted racial insults during the shooting. The source also said that a racial insult was painted on the weapon of the armed man. It is alleged that the suspect posted a hateful manifesto with racist language on the Internet.

“We will not stop until every cause is investigated, every piece of evidence is analyzed and we understand how and why this horrible tragedy and crime took place,” Belongia said, noting that the FBI is conducting a parallel investigation. with a state investigation

At a news conference, officials said 11 of the 13 killed were African American. Four, including one of the dead, were store employees.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson called the shooting “absolutely devastating.”

“Hate and racism have no place in America,” he said in a statement. “We are broken, very angry and praying for the families and loved ones of the victims as well as for the whole community.”

President Biden also issued a statement condemning the “horrific” shooting, writing that “the First Lady and I pray for the victims and their families and the hearts of this whole country along with the people of Buffalo.”

“We still need to learn more about the motivation for today’s shootings as law enforcement does its job, but we don’t need anything else to state a clear moral truth: racially motivated hate crime is disgusting to the very fabric of this nation,” Mr. Biden said. . “Any act of internal terrorism, including an act committed in the name of a disgusting white nationalist ideology, contradicts everything we stand for in America. Hatred must not have a safe haven. We must do everything in our power to put an end to hatred internal terrorism ”.

Several people were killed in a mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket


New York Governor Katie Hochul, a native of Buffalo, said the state had offered help to local officials and asked people to stay away from the area. Speaking on Saturday night, she called the suspect a supporter of white supremacy and said the shooting was an “act of terrorism”.

Wanted also called on social networking platforms to be more vigilant in monitoring content. “The fact that this act of barbarism, this execution of innocent people can be broadcast live on social media platforms, rather than filmed in a second, tells me that there is a responsibility here,” Hochul said. “And we will continue to work on this and make sure that those who represent these platforms are moral and ethical and I hope they have a legal responsibility to ensure that such hatred does not fill these sites. Because it is the result.”

Hochul also said Friday night that the suspect obtained his weapon legally but made illegal changes.

New York Governor Katie Hochul Condemns White Terrorism in Buffalo Shooting


Police have not released any information about the victims, but New York State Senator Tim Kennedy said one of the children of his staff was shot dead.

“Tonight a member of my staff, my extended family, is at the ECMC when she needs to be home,” Kennedy said. “She’s in hospital admission because her handsome, unusual son was shot while he was just doing his job.”

“To say I have a broken heart tonight is not even fair. I am devastated. I am angry. And I think of families who will not welcome a loved one tonight,” Kennedy added. “All because a man filled with pure evil has made a deliberate decision to senselessly kill innocent people.”

Tops Friendly Markets said in a statement that it was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the shooting.

“Our top priority remains the health and well-being of our colleagues and customers,” the supermarket said. “We appreciate the prompt response of local law enforcement and provide all available resources to assist the authorities in the ongoing investigation.”

The Buffalo incident is the latest high-profile mass shooting, motivated by racial hatred, according to authorities. In 2020, the FBI raised its threat assessment racially motivated violent extremists in the US to “national threat priority”, on a par with the level of threat posed to the country by foreign terrorist organizations. FBI Director Christopher Ray told Congress in November 2019 that most such attacks are “fueled by some white advantage.”

Pat Milton and Andres Trie contributed to the report.


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