BUFFALO, NY (AP) — On Saturday afternoon, a white gunman in military gear attacked shoppers and workers at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 black people. Another black and two whites were injured. Authorities are investigating the shooting as a hate crime.
An overview of what we know so far:
An 18-year-old white boy wearing a bulletproof vest and broadcasting live with a helmet camera opened fire at around 2.30pm on Saturday outside Tops Friendly Market. It’s a supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo.
The shooter streamed the shooting to a small audience on Twitch, who said they deleted the video from their platform in less than two minutes.
According to police, the shooter began shooting in the parking lot. Inside, he exchanged gunfire with a security guard, who was killed, before roaming the aisles and shooting shoppers.
At one point, he pointed his gun at a white person cowering behind a checkout counter, but said “Sorry! and does not shoot, as seen in parts of the live video circulating online.
When police confronted the shooter in the store’s vestibule, he put his gun to his own neck, but surrendered and dropped the gun under the persuasion of officers.
WHO IS THE SUSPECTED SHOOTER?
Police identified the shooter as Payton Gendron, of Conklin, New York. Conklin is a small town about 200 miles southeast of Buffalo, not far from the Pennsylvania border.
Officials said the rifle Gendron used in the attack was purchased legally, but the magazines he used for ammunition were not authorized for sale in New York.
After the shooting, Gendron appeared before a judge in a paper medical gown and was arraigned for murder. He pleaded not guilty.
A document widely circulated online apparently describes Gendron’s racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic beliefs. Among them was the desire to drive all non-Europeans out of the United States. The document appeared to be inspired by the gunman who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.
Authorities said Gendron researched local demographics and conducted reconnaissance as part of his effort to target black people.
The document also indicates that Gendron considered killing more people after the supermarket, including people on the street and possibly another store.
Authorities say Gendron made a “general” threat to Susquehanna Valley High School last June and underwent a mental health evaluation at a hospital. He was 17 at the time.
WHO ARE THE VICTIMS ?
Police said the 13 victims, including the injured, were between the ages of 20 and 86.
The 10 dead include Aaron Salter, a retired Buffalo police officer working as a security guard at the store. Salter fired several shots at the assailant, hitting his body armor at least once, although the bullet did not penetrate. Officials called him a hero who saved lives by running into danger. A local resident said he cares about the community and takes care of the store.
Ruth Whitfield, 86, was shopping after visiting her husband at a nursing home, as she did every day. She was the mother of retired Buffalo Fire Marshal Garnell Whitfield, who told The Buffalo News she was “a mother to orphans” and “a blessing to us all”. Whitfield attributed her mother’s strength and commitment to her family to her religious faith.
Katherine Massey, 72, was “a beautiful soul” who was killed while shopping, her sister Barbara Massey has said.
Heyward Patterson, 67, was a deacon at a nearby church. He had passed by the church soup kitchen before heading to the supermarket, where he provided an informal taxi service and took people home with their bags.
Others killed in the shooting were Roberta A. Drury, 32, Margus D. Morrison, 52, Andre Mackneil, 53, Geraldine Talley, 62, Celestine Chaney, 65, and Pearl Young, 77. Among the injured was 20-year-old Zaire Goodman. , Jennifer Warrington, 50, and Christopher Braden, 55.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE RIFLE USED IN SHOOTING?
Gendron purchased the AR-15-style rifle used in the shooting from a store in Endicott, New York, in recent months, according to the store owner.
Robert Donald, owner of Vintage Firearms, told ABC News and The New York Times that he had purchase records, but did not recall selling the rifle to Gendron. He said Gendron passed an instant background check the day he bought the gun. He said federal agents informed him that the rifle he sold to Gendron was used in the shooting.
“I mean, who would do that,” Donald told ABC News. “I’ve been open since 1993 and this is the first time there’s been a problem.”