Ten people were killed and three wounded in a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday afternoon that law enforcement described as a racially motivated hate crime.
The suspect, an 18-year-old white man dressed in tactical gear was taken into custody after shooting 13 people at the Tops Friendly Market supermarket in the city’s Black community, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.
Officials said he streamed the attack on a social media platform. Another victim was said to be in critical condition, according to law enforcement sources.
The man was live-streaming the shooting, Gramaglia said.
“This is pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said at a press conference, ” … straight-up, racially motivated hate crime.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo area said the case would be investigated as a hate crime and a tragedy of “racially motivated violent extremism.”
The suspect will be arraigned on a charge of first degree murder, local officials said.
“This is the worst nightmare that any community can face,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said.
Brown said the suspect “is not from this area and is from hours away and drove to Buffalo” to commit the crime.
He said he had helped bring the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue to the Black community and that many people he knew, as well as his own family, patronized the store.
A heavily armed man wearing tactical gear went to the store about 2:30 p.m., Gramaglia said.
He opened fire in the parking lot, shooting four people, before entering and continuing to open fire, he said.
A security guard returned fire but because the suspect had on ballistic protection, the rounds didn’t appear to penetrate, and the former officer was fatally shot, Gramaglia said.
Responding Buffalo officers engaged the suspect in the store’s vestibule, where the man surrendered, the commissioner said.
Three of those in the parking lot were among the dead, he said.
At least two rifles have been recovered from the scene, according to law enforcement sources. Officials at the press conference said the shooter used a semiautomatic rifle.
Details about why they believe the man was motivated by racial hatred were not revealed.
Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism said it was the worst hate-based mass shooting the nation since the mass shooting in El Paso in 2019.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she was “closely monitoring” the shooting and offered assistance to local officials.
Tops Friendly Markets spokeswoman Kathleen A. Sautter said in a statement, “We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”
“Our top priority remains the health and well-being of our associates and customers,” she said. “We appreciate the quick response of local law enforcement and are providing all available resources to assist authorities in the ongoing investigation.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.