Gunman kills 10 in racially motivated shooting at Buffalo supermarket, Reuters reports

Gunman kills 10 in racially motivated shooting at Buffalo supermarket, Reuters reports

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© Reuters. Officers secure scene after shooting at TOPS supermarket in Buffalo, New York, USA, May 14, 2022. REUTERS / Jeffrey T. Barnes REFILE – CORRECTION DATE

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Authors: Steve Gorman and Moira Warburton

(Reuters) – An 18-year-old white gunman killed 10 people and wounded three others at a grocery store in the Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, before surrendering after what authorities called an act of “racially motivated violent extremism.”

Authorities said the suspect, who was armed with an assault rifle and appears to have acted alone, drove to Buffalo from his New York County home “a few hours away” to launch an attack Saturday afternoon that aired online.

Eleven of the 13 people affected by the shooting were black, officials said. The other two were white. The racial breakdown of the dead has not been clarified.

The suspect, who was not immediately named by the police, was heavily armed and trained in tactical equipment, including body armor, police said.

When confronted by police in the shop lobby, the suspect held a gun to his own neck but was persuaded to drop his weapon and surrender, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told a news briefing.

Gramaglia said the attacker shot and killed three people in the Tops Friendly Market parking lot before exchanging fire with a former police officer who worked as a security guard at the store but the suspect was protected by body armor.

The guard was one of 10 people killed in the incident, and the other nine were all customers. Three other employees of the shop, which is part of the regional chain, were injured but are expected to survive, authorities said.

Shonnell Harris, a manager at Tops, told Buffalo News that she thought she heard as many as 70 gunshots and fell several times as she ran through the store to the back exit.

“He looked like he was in the army,” she told the newspaper, describing a camouflaged attacker.

Retired firefighter Katherine Crofton, who lives nearby, said she witnessed the onset of bloodshed from her porch.

“I saw him shoot this woman,” Crofton told the newspaper. “She was just going to the store. And then he shot another woman. She was putting groceries in her car. I got off because I didn’t know if she was going to shoot me.”

Stephen Belongia, an FBI special agent in charge of the Buffalo’s field office, said the attack would be investigated both as a hate crime and as an act of “racially motivated violent extremism” under federal law.

“This person was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia told a news conference, his voice trembling with emotion. “It was a racially motivated hate crime by someone outside our community.”

The suspects are expected to appear in court for the first time to face murder charges by the end of the day, officials said.

“This is a day of great pain for our community,” Buffalo Mayor Bryon Brown told reporters. “Many of us have come in and out of this supermarket many times … We can’t allow this hateful person to divide our community or our country.”

Brown said he received calls from the White House and New York Attorney General Letitia James.

U.S. Representative Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the attack appeared to be the work of a violent white man.

“We need to pass the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, without delay,” he wrote on Twitter (NYSE :).



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