US officials say at least 10 people killed, and three injured after a shooter attacked a grocery store in New York’s city of Buffalo.
A heavily armed 18-year-old white gunman shot 10 people dead at a Buffalo, New York grocery store in a “racially motivated” attack that he live-streamed on camera, authorities said.
The gunman, who was wearing a helmet and tactical gear, was arrested on Saturday after the massacre, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told a news conference.
Gramaglia put the toll at 10 dead and three wounded. Police said most of the victims were Black.
The gunman first shot four people in the parking lot of the Tops supermarket, three of them fatally, then went inside and continued firing, Gramaglia said.
Among those killed inside the store was a retired police officer who was working as an armed security guard.
The guard “engaged the suspect, fired multiple shots,” but the gunman — who was protected by body armor — shot him, Gramaglia said.
When police arrived, the shooter put the gun to his neck, but was talked down and ultimately surrendered, he added.
Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office, told the news conference that the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.
“We are investigating this incident as both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism,” Belongia said.
Eerie County Sheriff John Garcia described the attack as “pure evil.”
“It was straight up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community,” he said.
“This white supremacist who just perpetrated a hate crime on an innocent community will spend the rest of his days behind bars, and Heaven help him in the next life as well,” says Governor Kathy Hochul after gunman killed 10 people, injured three others in Buffalo, New York pic.twitter.com/fZd8tWYi29
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) May 15, 2022
‘Day of great pain’
John Flynn, the district attorney for Eerie County, where Buffalo is located, said the suspect would be arraigned on charges of murder in the first degree, which carries a sentence of life without parole.
Byron Brown, the mayor of Buffalo — which is located in western New York, along the US border with Canada — said the shooter “traveled hours from outside this community to perpetrate this crime.”
“This is a day of great pain for our community,” Brown said.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said US President Joe Biden had been briefed on the “horrific shooting.”
Biden “will continue to receive updates throughout the evening and tomorrow as further information develops. The president and the first lady are praying for those who have been lost and for their loved ones,” Jean-Pierre added.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the senior US senator from New York, said in a tweet: “We are standing with the people of Buffalo.”
The governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, also tweeted that she was monitoring the situation, and asked people in Buffalo to “avoid the area and follow guidance from law enforcement and local officials.”
Last month, a “sniper-type” shooter opened fire in an upscale Washington neighborhood, wounding four people before taking his own life.
Police suspected that graphic video of that shooting which circulated online shortly afterward was film ed by the shooter himself, but have not confirmed the authenticity or if it was live-streamed.