Police label deadly mass shooting as ‘racially motivated violent extremism’

A mass shooting that killed at least 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket has been described as “racially motivated violent extremism” by authorities.

Police say an 18-year-old white man in military gear used a helmet camera to livestream the attack on mostly black shoppers and workers on Saturday. For at least two minutes, he broadcast the shooting live on the Twitch streaming platform before the service ended its transmission.

Police said he shot 11 black and two white victims before surrendering to police. Later, he appeared before a judge in a paper medical gown and was charged with murder. The suspected shooter has been identified as Payton Gendron, of Conklin, New York, about 200 miles southeast of Buffalo.

Speaking near the scene of the attack, Governor Kathy Hochul said: “I sincerely hope that this individual, this white supremacist who has just perpetrated a hate crime against an innocent community, will spend the rest of his life behind the bars, and may heaven help him also in the next world.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the shooter shot four people outside the store, three of them fatally. Inside the store, a security guard who was a retired Buffalo police officer fired several shots, but a bullet that hit the shooter’s body armor had no effect, added the commissioner.

The shooter then killed the guard before running through the store shooting other victims. After being confronted by police, the suspect had put the gun to his own neck before officers persuaded him to drop the gun.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at a press conference, “This is the worst nightmare any community can face, and we are hurting and bubbling right now. The depth of pain the families are feeling and that we are all feeling right now cannot even be explained. »

At an earlier press conference, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the shooting a hate crime.

“It was pure evil. It was squarely a racially motivated hate crime by someone outside of our community, outside of the city of good neighbors… coming into our community and trying to inflict on us this evil,” the sheriff said.

Tops Friendly Markets issued 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.”

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