At least 10 killed in mass shooting at Buffalo grocery store

BUFFALO, NY (AP) — A gunman opened fire with a rifle Saturday at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in what authorities called a “racially motivated hate crime and violent extremism,” killing 10 people. and injuring three others before being arrested. custody, law enforcement officials said.

The suspect was identified as Payton Gendron of Conklin, about 200 miles southeast of Buffalo, in New York state, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. The officials were not allowed to speak publicly about the matter and did so on condition of anonymity. The suspect was being questioned Saturday night by the FBI, one of the officials said.

Authorities said 11 of the victims are black and two are white. The shooting occurred in a predominantly black neighborhood a few miles (kilometers) north of downtown Buffalo.

THIS IS A LAST MINUTE UPDATE. The previous AP story follows below.

BUFFALO, NY (AP) — A gunman wearing military-style clothing and a bulletproof vest opened fire with a rifle at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing at least 10 people before he was taken into custody Saturday afternoon, police said. law enforcement officials to The Associated. Press.

Details about the number of additional people shot at the Tops Friendly Market and their conditions were not immediately available. The two officials were not allowed to speak publicly about the matter and did so on condition of anonymity. The suspect was being questioned Saturday night by the FBI, one of the officials said.

Investigators believe the gunman may have been broadcasting the shooting through a camera attached to his helmet, one of the officials said. The video showed the gunman, dressed in military clothing, stopping in front of the store with a rifle in the front seat and then pointing the rifle at people in the parking lot as he got out of the vehicle and opened fire, the official said.

It also shows the suspect entering the supermarket and shooting other victims inside, the official said. One of the victims was a recently retired police officer who worked as a security guard at the store, according to the official.

One of the officials warned that the investigation was in its preliminary stages and that authorities had not yet discerned a clear motive, but were investigating whether the shooting was racially motivated.

The supermarket is in a predominantly black neighborhood about 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of downtown Buffalo. The surrounding area is mostly residential, with a Family Dollar store and a fire station near the store.

Buffalo police confirmed the shooter was in custody in a tweet, but did not identify the suspect. Police officials did not immediately respond to AP messages seeking comment.

Witnesses reported that the gunman was wearing military-style clothing in addition to body armor, one of the officials said.

Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, both 20, entered the parking lot just as the shooter was leaving. They described him as a white male in his late teens or early twenties wearing full camouflage, a black helmet and what appeared to be a rifle.

“He was standing there with the gun to his chin. We were like what the hell is going on? Why does this guy have a gun to his face?” Kephart said. He knelt down. “He took off his helmet, dropped the gun and was accosted by the police.”

At the White House, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden receives regular updates on the shooting and its aftermath.

“The President has been briefed by his National Security Advisor about the horrific shooting in Buffalo, New York, this afternoon. He will continue to receive updates overnight and tomorrow as more information develops,” he said, adding that the president and first lady were praying for the victims and their loved ones.

Tops Friendly Markets released 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.”

Police locked down the block, surrounded by onlookers, and yellow police tape encircled the entire parking lot. Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz were at the scene Saturday afternoon, meeting in a parking lot across the street from the Tops store and waiting to address the media.

More than two hours after the shooting, Erica Pugh-Mathews was waiting outside the store behind police tape.

“We would like to know the status of my aunt, my mother’s sister. She was there with her fiancé, they broke up and went to different hallways,” she said. “A bullet barely hit him. He was able to hide in a freezer but he couldn’t get to my aunt and he doesn’t know where she is. We’d just like to know if she’s okay anyway.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted that she was “closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo,” her hometown. She said state officials have offered help to local authorities. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office said on social media that it has ordered all available personnel to assist Buffalo police.

Attorney General Merrick Garland was briefed on the shooting, Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said.

The shooting comes just over a year after a March 2021 attack at a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 people. Investigators have not released any information on why they believe the man accused of that attack targeted the supermarket.

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Associated Press reporters John Wawrow in Buffalo and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report. Balsamo reported from Washington and Collins reported from Hartford, Connecticut.

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