Buffalo shooting: 10 dead, 3 injured in supermarket mass shooting

BUFFALO, NY – Authorities say 10 people were killed and three more were injured Saturday afternoon in a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo.

The suspect, identified as Payton S. Gendron, 18, of Conklin, was taken into custody and booked. He has pleaded not guilty to one count of first degree murder.

“He carries with him a life sentence without parole,” Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said. “We are now investigating terrorism charges, other murder charges, as well as working with our partners in the federal government so that they too can press charges.”

Gendron was remanded in custody without bail. A felony hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning.

Police say Gendron, who is white, traveled “hours” to carry out the attack at Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue. The FBI is investigating the shooting as a radically motivated violent extremism and hate crime.

Payton S. Gendron, the suspect accused of shooting 10 people to death and wounding three more at a Buffalo supermarket, appeared before a judge on May 14, 2022.

CBS News

The supermarket is in a predominantly black neighborhood about 3 miles north of downtown Buffalo. The surrounding area is mostly residential, with a Family Dollar store and a fire station near the store.

“This was pure evil. It was a directly racially motivated hate crime by someone outside of our community, outside of the city of good neighbors… who came into our community and tried to inflict that evil on us,” the Erie County Sheriff said. John Garcia.

READ MORE: 5 things we know about the deadly shooting in Buffalo

Police officials say that around 2:30 p.m., Gendron got out of a vehicle in the supermarket parking lot. Police say he was heavily armed and wearing tactical gear, including a helmet with a camera that he used to live stream the shooting. A police source says Gendron was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Gendron allegedly shot four people in the parking lot. Three of those victims died at the scene. One was injured but survived.

Police say the suspect walked in and started shooting at patrons.

“You can see inside the store and I saw it [shooting]. And I said, I don’t have a phone with me, so I said, ‘Somebody,’ I’m yelling, ‘Somebody call the police,'” a witness said.

According to police, a retired Buffalo police officer working as a security guard exchanged gunfire and struck Gendron but, due to the suspect’s tactical gear, was unable to stop him. Gendron allegedly shot and killed the security guard.

Police say the suspect went through the rest of the store and eventually returned to the front of the supermarket.

Buffalo police then confronted the suspect in the store’s lobby. Gendron allegedly put a gun to his neck, but officers convinced him to drop the gun.

Police say Gendron then removed some of his tactical gear and surrendered.

A total of 13 people were shot. Ten victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia says the other three victims suffered injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening.

All three injured victims were taken to Erie County Medical Center in stable condition. As of 7:30 pm, one victim had been released from the hospital.

Four of the shooting victims were store employees, including the security guard. The rest of the victims were customers.

Eleven of the victims are African American and two are white.

Tops Friendly Markets released a statement 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.”

READ MORE: Buffalo shooting: Gov. Kathy Hochul asks social media companies to monitor content more closely after attack went live

Twitch, the platform the suspected shooter used to live stream the attack, issued the following statement:

“We are devastated to hear about the shooting that took place this afternoon in Buffalo, New York. Our hearts go out to the community affected by this tragedy. Twitch has a zero tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works quickly to respond to all incidents. The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring any accounts re-broadcasting this content.”

“This is the worst nightmare any community can face,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “The depth of pain that families are feeling and that all of us are feeling right now cannot even be explained.”

Governor Kathy Hochul traveled to Buffalo on Saturday to help with the response.

“I know the people who live here, the wonderful, close-knit neighborhood, and to see that sense of safety shattered by an individual, a white supremacist who has engaged in an act of terrorism and will be prosecuted as such, in a cold-calculated manner. and from the heart,” Hochul said. “It strikes us to our hearts to know that there is so much evil lurking.”

At the White House, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden receives regular updates on the shooting and its aftermath.

“The President has been briefed by his National Security Advisor on the horrific shooting in Buffalo, New York, this afternoon. He will continue to receive updates overnight and tomorrow as more information develops,” he said, adding that the President and the first lady were praying for the victims and their loved ones.

Attorney General Merrick Garland was briefed on the shooting, Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said.

The New York Police Department says that while there is no threat to New York City, out of an abundance of caution, patrolling has been increased in several locations.

The shooting comes just over a year after a March 2021 attack at a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 people. Investigators have not released any information on why they believe the man accused of that attack targeted the supermarket.

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