State of New York. — A man opened fire with a rifle Saturday at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York state, killing 10 people and wounding three more before he was arrested, police said, an incident authorities described as a “crime” of hate and racially motivated violent extremism.
The man was identified as Payton Gendron of Conklin, a town about 200 miles southeast of Buffalo, New York, two law enforcement officials said.
The suspect was being questioned by the FBI on Saturday afternoon, one of the officials said.
According to authorities, 11 of the victims were black and two were white. The shooting occurred at Tops Friendly Market, a grocery store in a mostly black neighborhood a few miles north of downtown Buffalo.
The attacker was dressed in military clothing and wearing a bulletproof vest, according to the sources.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown revealed that the assailant “traveled hours” to the supermarket, where 13 people were shot and 10 had lost their lives.
Investigators believe the assailant broadcast the attack over the internet using a camera mounted on his helmet, according to one of the sources. In the video, the armed subject is seen wearing military gear and a rifle in a front seat as he arrives at the store. He gets out of the vehicle pointing the rifle at people and opens fire, the official said.
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The attacker is also seen walking into the supermarket and shooting other victims inside, it added. One of the victims was a recently retired officer who worked as a store security guard, according to the official.
One of the officials pointed out that the investigation is in its preliminary stages and that the authorities have not discerned a clear motive for the attacker, although they are investigating whether the attack was a racist act.
However, the attorney general said the FBI is investigating the Buffalo shooting as a racially motivated hate crime and violent extremism.
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.
According to witnesses, the gunman was wearing military-style clothing and a bulletproof vest, one of the officials said.
Police closed off the street, lined with onlookers, and yellow police tape encircled the entire parking lot.
At the White House, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that President Joe Biden receives updates on the attack and its aftermath.
“The President was briefed by his National Security Advisor on the horrific shooting attack in Buffalo, New York, this afternoon. He will continue to receive updates overnight and tomorrow as new information emerges,” she added.
While the Eric County Governor, Marc Poloncarz, issued a warning to residents near the place to avoid traveling through the area in which the uniformed officer works on the case.
“Police are on site please stay away from the area,” he posted on his Twitter account.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted that she was “closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo,” her hometown. She pointed out that the state authorities have offered her help to the municipal ones.
The Eric County Sheriff’s Office said on social media that it had ordered all available personnel to assist Buffalo police.
The shooting comes just over a year after a March 2021 attack at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 people. Investigators have not released any information on why they believe the man accused of that attack was targeting the supermarket.