Buffalo supermarket mass shooting: Here’s what we know so far – National

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A deadly shooting in Buffalo, New York, that ended in the deaths of 10 people and three injured three is being investigated as a federal hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism.

Saturday’s shooting at a supermarket was carried out by a white teenager. All but two of the victims were Black.

Here is what we know so far:

A white 18-year-old wearing military gear and livestreaming with a helmet camera opened fire Saturday afternoon at Tops Friendly Market.

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The first 911 call came in a 2.30 pm local time, police said. And patrol officers were on the scene within a minute.

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Parents of Buffalo mass shooter accused of killing 10 questioned by feds

The gunman livestreamed the shooting to a small audience on Twitch for several minutes before the platform cut off his feed.

Twitch said in a statement that it ended Gendron’s transmission “less than two minutes after the violence started.”

Screenshots purporting to be from the live Twitch broadcast appear to show a racial epithet scrawled on the rifle used in the attack, as well as the number 14, a likely reference to a white supremacist slogan.

According to police, the gunman began shooting in the parking lot, then moved inside the store. Security guard Aaron Salter fired multiple shots but none penetrated the gunman’s armor. The gunman killed Salter and then stalked through the aisles, shooting shoppers.

Click to play video: 'Buffalo supermarket shooting: 10 killed, suspect in custody, police say'

Buffalo supermarket shooting: 10 killed, suspect in custody, police say

Buffalo supermarket shooting: 10 killed, suspect in custody, police say

When police confronted the gunman in the store’s vestibule, he put his rifle to his own neck but surrendered and dropped the gun with coaxing from the officers.

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“They talked him down and it was a pretty one-sided fight with the armour that he had,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told reporters on Sunday.

He was then taken into police custody with no further shots fired. The gunman acted alone, according to police.

“At this point, the investigation is showing that he did this by himself,” Gramaglia said.

Click to play video: 'Buffalo supermarket shooting being investigated as hate crime, racially-motivated violent extremism: authorities'

Buffalo supermarket shooting being investigated as hate crime, racially-motivated violent extremism: authorities

Buffalo supermarket shooting being investigated as hate crime, racially-motivated violent extremism: authorities

Where did the shooting take place?

The shooting happened on Jefferson Avenue in a predominantly Black neighbourhood of Buffalo, New York. Tops is the only supermarket on the east side of Buffalo. The area is home to a number of Black-owned businesses, including Golden Cup Coffee, the Challenger newspaper and the Apollo Theatre.

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Read more:

Anger and grief after 10 killed in ‘racially motivated’ shooting at Buffalo supermarket

“We’ve got tons of things in this little area that are supposed to be for us, by us – Black-owned – including this supermarket,” said Myles Carter, a community activist.

“This was an attack on all of us,” he told Global News.

Who is the suspected shooter?

Police have identified the gunman as Payton Gendron, of Conklin, New York, a small town about 320 kilometres southeast of Buffalo, not far from the Pennsylvania state line.

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Read more:

Buffalo mass shooting: Gunman who killed 10 was on authorities’ radar

Officials said the rifle Gendron used in the attack was purchased legally but the magazines he used for ammunition were not allowed to be sold in New York.

A document circulated widely online seemingly outlines Gedron’s racist, anti-immigrant and antisemitic beliefs. Among them was a desire to drive all people not of European descent from the U.S. The document seemed to draw inspiration from the gunman who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.

Another document circulating online that appeared to have been written by Gendron sketched out a to-do list for the attack, including cleaning the gun and testing the livestream.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Sunday that Gedron had threatened to carry out a shooting last year at Susquehanna Valley High School around the time of graduation. He was 17 years old at the time and was sent for mental health treatment. The law enforcement official was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation and did so on the condition of anonymity.

In a Sunday interview with ABC, Gramaglia said that Gendron had been in town “at least the day before.”

“It seems that he had come here to scope out the area, to do a little reconnaissance work on the area before he carried out his just evil, sickening act,” Gramaglia said.

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Investigators believe Gendron specifically researched the demographics of the population around the supermarket.

Police have yet to release the names of most of the victims. Among the deceased is Aaron Salter, who was working as a security guard at the store. Salter was also a retired Buffalo police officer. According to officials, Salter was a hero in the community who saved lives by running toward danger as he fired multiple shots at the shooter, striking him at least once.

“There could have been more victims if not for his actions,” Gramaglia said Sunday.

Salter “cared about the community. He looked after the store,” local resident Yvette Mack said. She remembered him as someone who “let us know if we was right or wrong.”

Mack would walk to the store to play lottery numbers and shop. She said she spoke to Salter shortly before the shooting.

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“I was playing my numbers. He said ‘I see you’re playing your numbers!’ I laughed. And he was playing his numbers too. Can you imagine seeing someone and you don’t know he’s not going to go home?”

Click to play video: 'Buffalo supermarket shooting: Suspect had been picked up for mental health evaluation'

Buffalo supermarket shooting: Suspect had been picked up for mental health evaluation

Buffalo supermarket shooting: Suspect had been picked up for mental health evaluation

Just like every other day, 86-year-old Ruth Elizabeth Whitfield was picking up groceries at the Tops after visiting her husband at the nursing home when she was killed.

Her son, retired Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield, told The Buffalo News she was “a mother to the motherless” and “a blessing to all of us. Her strength and commitment to her family can be attributed to her strong religious faith, her son said.

Whitfield’s family has retained nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump and co-counsel Terry Connors of Connors LLP and Ken Abbarno of DiCello Levitt.

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Yesterday, we witnessed the deadliest mass shooting of 2022, perpetrated by a self-proclaimed white supremacist who set out to do one thing: kill Black people,” Crump said in a release sent to Global News.

“Ruth, a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother was the primary caretaker of her husband and was coming back from visiting him at a nursing home when this sick, depraved individual brutally murdered her at the grocery store,” he said.

“We are thoroughly investigating the shooting and the events leading up to it. These grieving families deserve to know how a white supremacist, so vocal about his hatred, was able to carry out a premeditated and targeted act of terrorism against Black people – all while armed with an assault rifle fitted with a high-capacity magazine. It’s an all-too familiar scenario, with the same tragic, but preventable ending. We will get answers for these families, and we will hold those responsible for this tragedy accountable.”

Also among the deceased was Katherine Massey who shopping with her sister, Barbara Massey. Barbara described her as a “beautiful soul.”

Another victim is said to be a church deacon, who worked as a driver, along with a man visiting the supermarket to buy a birthday cake for his son, according to the Associated Press.

And, among the injured was 20-year-old Zaire Goodman. Goodman, who is the son of a staffer to State Sen. Tim Kennedy, was shot in the neck but is recovering.

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“I’m devastated. I’m angry,” Kennedy said. “And I’m thinking about the families who won’t welcome a loved one home tonight.”

— With files from Global News’ Sean O’Sea and The Associated Press


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