A heavily armed 18-year-old white gunman fatally shot 10 people Saturday at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store in a “racially motivated” attack that he broadcast live on camera, authorities said.
The gunman, who was wearing a helmet and tactical gear, was arrested after the shooting, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said at a news conference.
Gramaglia estimates 10 dead and three wounded. Police said most of the victims were black.
The gunman first shot four people in the Tops supermarket parking lot, three of them fatally, then went inside and continued shooting, Gramaglia said.
Among those killed inside the store was a retired police officer who worked as an armed security guard.
The guard “confronted the suspect, fired multiple shots,” but the gunman, who was protected by a bulletproof vest, shot him, Gramaglia said.
When police arrived, the shooter put the gun to his neck, but was dissuaded and eventually surrendered, he added.
Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office, said at the news conference that the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.
“We are investigating this incident as 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 a racially motivated hate crime from someone outside of our community,” he said.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said US President Joe Biden had been briefed on the “horrible shooting.”
Biden “will continue to receive updates overnight and tomorrow as more information develops. The President and First Lady are praying for those who have been lost and for their loved ones,” added Jean-Pierre.
Police suspected graphic video of that shooting that circulated online shortly afterward was filmed by the shooter himself, but have not confirmed the authenticity or whether it was broadcast live.
With NDTV inputs