A heavily armed 18-year-old white gunman shot and killed 10 people Saturday at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, in a “racially motivated” attack that he broadcast live on camera, the authorities said. authorities.
The shooter, who was wearing a helmet and tactical gear, was arrested after the massacre, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said at a news conference.
Gramaglia put the toll at 10 dead and three wounded. Police said most of the victims were black.
The shooter first shot four people in the parking lot of Tops supermarket, three of them fatally, then went inside and continued shooting, Gramaglia said.
Among those killed inside the store was a retired policeman who worked as an armed security guard.
The guard “engaged the suspect, fired several shots,” but the shooter – who was protected by body armor – shot him, Gramaglia said.
When police arrived the shooter put the gun to his neck but was reported and eventually surrendered, he added.
Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office, said at the press conference that the shooting was being investigated as a hate crime.
“We are investigating this incident as both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism,” Belongia said.
Eerie County Sheriff John Garcia called the attack “pure evil.”
“It was squarely a racially motivated hate crime committed by someone outside of our community,” he said.
“Day of Great Sorrow”
John Flynn, the district attorney for Eerie County, where Buffalo is located, said the suspect will be charged with first-degree murder, which carries a sentence of life without parole.
Byron Brown, the mayor of Buffalo – which is located in western New York along the US-Canada border – said the shooter “had traveled for hours from outside this community to perpetrate this crime”.
“This is a day of great pain for our community,” Brown said.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said US President Joe Biden had been briefed on the “horrific shooting”.
Biden “will continue to receive updates throughout the evening and tomorrow as new information develops. The President and First Lady are praying for those who have been lost and for their loved ones,” added Jean Pierre.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the senior U.S. senator from New York, said in a tweet: “We stand with the people of Buffalo.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul also tweeted that she was monitoring the situation and asked Buffalo residents “to avoid the area and follow the advice of law enforcement and local officials.”
Last month, a “sniper-style” shooter opened fire in an upscale Washington neighborhood, injuring four people before killing himself.
Police suspect that the graphic video of this shooting which circulated online shortly afterwards was filmed by the shooter himself, but have not confirmed the authenticity or whether it was broadcast live.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)