Saturday’s massacre in Buffalo, New York, is the latest mass shooting in which authorities say the suspect was motivated by hate.
The suspected shooter, an 18-year-old white man, shot and killed 10 people and injured three others at a supermarket in a predominantly black area, authorities said. Eleven of the victims are black.
“We will be aggressive in our pursuit of anyone who subscribes to the ideals held by other white supremacists and how there is a feeding frenzy on social media platforms where the hate is escalating more and more,” the governor said Saturday. of New York, Kathy Hochul.
Investigators in the case found evidence pointing to “racial animosity,” Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said at a Saturday news conference. The FBI says it is investigating the incident as a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism.
The attack comes amid a rise in hate crimes across the country. An FBI report released last year found that hate crime reports in the United States in 2020 hit their highest level in 12 years. Also in 2020, the Department of Homeland Security warned that white supremacists would likely remain the nation’s “most persistent and deadly threat.”
Here are other high-profile massacres in recent years that authorities say were fueled by hatred.
John T. Earnest admitted to a shooting at a San Diego-area synagogue that left one dead and three others injured in 2019. In December, Earnest was sentenced to a second life sentence after pleading guilty to a 113-count indictment including a hate crime. and weapons violations.
He was armed with an AR-15 type rifle when he entered the crowded Chabad synagogue in Poway and started shooting. He also admitted to burning down a mosque in nearby Escondido several weeks before the shooting.
“Defendant targeted his victims because he hated the Jewish community and the Muslim community,” Randy Grossman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, previously said.
“The accused and his hatred have been silenced. He will spend the rest of his life and die in prison, while he languishes behind bars,” Grossman said.
Patrick Crusius, the man accused of killing 23 people and injuring nearly two dozen others in a 2019 mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, has been charged with dozens of federal charges, including hate crimes resulting in death and hate crimes involving attempt to kill.
The rampage was the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern US history.
Crusius was charged with killing and injuring the victims “on the basis of any person’s real and perceived national origin,” according to the indictment. An earlier arrest affidavit said he told police his targets were Mexicans.
He pleaded not guilty and has not yet been tried. Crusius’ lawyers said he was in a psychotic state after the shooting and suffered from mental illness.
El Paso community reflects on horrors of mass shooting
In October 2018, a gunman killed 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, in what would be the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history, according to the Anti-Defamation League. .
Authorities said Robert Bowers targeted Jews online and made anti-Semitic comments during the shooting. Later, while receiving medical treatment, he told a SWAT officer that he wanted all Jews to die, according to a criminal complaint.
Federal prosecutors have filed hate crimes charges against Bowers, saying he used anti-Semitic slurs and criticized a Jewish group on a social media site in the days leading up to the shooting.
Federal prosecutors said in 2019 they would seek the death penalty for charges including obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death, using and discharging a firearm to commit murder and possession of a firearm in a violent crime.
They said they were justified in seeking the death penalty because of the role Bowers’ anti-Semitic views played in the shooting.
He pleaded not guilty and has not yet been tried.
In June 2015, self-confessed white supremacist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine African American worshipers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church – a historic black church – in Charleston, South Carolina.
Roof was convicted of federal charges and sentenced to death in January 2017. He was the first federal hate crime defendant to be sentenced to death, a Justice Department spokesperson said.
“Mother Emanuel was her destination specifically because it was a historically African-American church of significance to the people of Charleston, South Carolina, and to the nation,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. in 2015. “That summer evening, Dylann Roof found his targets, African Americans engaged in worship.
Roof spent months planning the attack, Lynch said.
“He was looking for the type of church and the type of parishioners whose deaths would, in fact, attract great notoriety for … his racist views,” she said.
Another place of worship – believed to be a refuge – was the scene of a shooting in August 2012.
An army veteran opened fire at a gurdwara – or Sikh place of worship – in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing six people and injuring four others.
Wade Michael Page died of a self-inflicted wound after being shot by a police officer, the FBI said. The shooting came as violent attacks on Sikhs increased after 9/11, 2001.
Then-Attorney General Eric Holder called the attack “an act of terrorism, an act of hate, a hate crime.”
According to a man who describes himself as a former Army pal of Page, the attacker spoke of a “holy racial war” when they served together in the 1990s.
Christopher Robillard of Oregon, who said he had lost touch with Page, added in 2012 that when Page fumed, “it would mostly be anyone who isn’t white.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story misrepresented the final toll of a 2019 mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. He was 23.