At least 10 people were killed and three others were injured Saturday after a gunman opened fire at a Buffalo supermarket in New York in a mass shooting that law enforcement officials said they were investigating a racially motivated hate crime.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramglia said the suspect, an 18-year-old white man, drove to Tops Friendly Markets from out of town. Mr Grammaglia told a news conference that he was heavily armed and was wearing tactical gear and a helmet.
A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said the suspected shooter is from Conklin, New York, a suburb of Binghamton about 3 1/2 hours southeast of Buffalo. The Associated Press reported that the suspect appeared before a judge on Saturday and was brought to trial for premeditated murder.
The suspect initially shot four people in the parking lot, three of whom died, according to Mr. Gramaglia.
Inside the store, the gunman encountered a retired police officer from Buffalo who worked in the store as a security guard. Mr Grammaglia said the two exchanged fire and the security guard died.
The suspect shot 13 people while he was moving around the store. When Buffalo police arrived, the suspect threatened to shoot him in the neck before surrendering, according to the police chief.
Mr Gramglia said the suspect broadcast the shooting live on the internet.
A 180-page document posted online that police believe was written by the suspected shooter, according to a law enforcement official, describes the conspiracy theory Known as “The Wonderful Alternative” which asserts that political elites use immigration and other policies to reduce the white population. The document also details a planned mass shooting similar to what happened on Saturday, including the writer’s goal to kill as many blacks as possible.
The store where the shooting took place is in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo. Eleven of the people shot were black and two were white, according to Mr. Gramaglia.
In the document, the writer described himself as a fascist, white supremacist, and racist. His self-described journey Track it down from other team shooting games of recent years. He wrote that he started browsing 4chan during 2020 due to the boredom of the pandemic. He turned first to pages about guns and the outdoors, and eventually found charts and memes that defined him as white supremacy.
Stephen Bilongia, a special agent for the FBI’s Buffalo Field Office, said the shooting will be investigated as a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism.
John Flynn, the Erie County District Attorney, said his office will seek a life sentence without parole. Mr. Flynn said law enforcement collected evidence that suggested a racist motive.
“This is the worst nightmare a community can have and we’re getting hurt and we’re so angry now as a community,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at the press conference.
President Biden thanked the police and other first responders for their actions.
“We still need to learn more about the motive behind today’s shootings as law enforcement does their job, but we don’t need anything else to state an obvious moral truth: racially motivated hate crime is distasteful to the fabric of this nation,” he said in a statement. from acts of domestic terrorism, including one committed in the name of a hateful white nationalist ideology, that goes against everything we stand for in America.”
— Dan Frosch and Georgia Wells contributed to this article.
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