Buffalo Mass Shooting: Latest Update

A heavily armed 18-year-old white man opened fire at a supermarket in mostly Black Buffalo, killing 10 people and wounding three others, authorities said, in a racist attack that turned sunny Saturday into one of its darkest days. in the history of the city.

The suspect was identified in court as Payton S. Gendron of Conklin, New York. He pleaded not guilty Saturday night to first-degree murder, a charge that could lead to life in prison without parole.

Gendron was armed with an assault weapon and wore body armor, police said, and he had a video camera attached to his helmet that streamed the shooting live online.

The attack appeared to be inspired by previous massacres motivated by racial hatred, including the mosque shootings in New Zealand and another at a Walmart in Texas, both in 2019.

A law enforcement official said investigators were reviewing a manifesto believed to have been posted online by Mr Gendron. It is riddled with racist, anti-immigrant views that claim white Americans risk being replaced by people of color, an ideology known as the “great replacement” theory. In videos and images of the massacre that appear to have been captured by a camera attached to his helmet, anti-Black racial slurs are visible on the barrel of his gun.

Eleven of those shot were black and two were white, authorities said.

“It was a hate crime that was racially motivated,” John Garcia, the Erie County sheriff, said at a news conference Saturday night.

The massacre began at around 2:30 p.m., authorities said, when Gendron, who does not live in Buffalo and had driven several hours from Conklin, a town south of Binghamton, to get there, got out of his car in tactical clothing. equipment and body armor and carry assault weapons.

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He shot four people in the parking lot, Buffalo police commissioner Joseph A. Gramaglia said at a news conference, three of which were fatal. As he enters the shop and continues shooting, he encounters a security guard—a retired Buffalo cop who returns fire. But Mr. Gendron was wearing heavy metal cladding; he kills the guard and proceeds to the shop, shooting at the shoppers and employees.

When Buffalo police officers arrived and confronted Mr Gendron, he put a gun to his neck, but two patrol officers persuaded him to drop his gun and surrender, Mr Gramaglia said.

United States attorney in Buffalo, Trini E. Ross, said her office would investigate the murder as a hate crime. Stephen Belongia, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office, said the shooting was “a case of racially motivated violent extremism.”

The Mayor of Buffalo, Byron W. Brown, said he and his family regularly shop at the store, an outlet of the regional chain Tops Friendly Markets. “Some of the victims of this shooter attack are people we all stand here know,” he said, surrounded by the city’s political and law enforcement leaders.

The attack took place in a neighborhood known as Masten Park on Buffalo’s East Side. Dominique Calhoun, who lives near the Tops supermarket, said he was entering his parking lot when the shooting occurred.

He said he saw people running and screaming, so he parked across the street. She is with her two daughters, 8 and 9 years old, and the three of them are planning to buy some ice cream.

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“It could really be me,” he said of the people who were killed.

At the crime scene, Barbara Massey Mapps waited anxiously outside police tape for news of her 72-year-old sister, whom she suspects was at the supermarket when the shooting occurred. “I will be here until I see my sister,” he said.

Officials said the camera the gunman was wearing was used to broadcast the attack live on Twitch, an Amazon-owned live streaming site popular with gamers. Twitch said it had taken the channel offline.

“Users have been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring any accounts that rebroadcast this content,” a Twitch spokesperson said.

Screenshots of the broadcast circulated online, including some showing the shooter holding a gun and standing over the body at the grocery store.

Another social media post shows what is said to be a list of instructions the shooter created for himself — a to-do list that includes “keep writing the manifesto” and “test livestream functionality before the actual attack” — on messaging platform Discord. The Discord username matches the Twitch channel name.

Federal authorities are studying the statement of intent posted by the gunman online, according to a senior federal law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose details of the investigation.

The document, circulating on online message board 4chan, compares the gunman’s plans to other mass shootings motivated by bigotry and promotes the “great replacement” theory.

He wrote that he would use the GoPro Hero 7 Black to “livestream the attack on Twitch,” which he chose for “everyone with the internet to watch and record.” He noted that the shooting at a Jewish synagogue in Halle, Germany, in 2019 was also broadcast live on Twitch.

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He then detailed more than a dozen pages of tactical equipment he would recommend for a similar attack, including knives, vests and medical kits. He says that “conservatism is dead” and the progressives’ defense of equality is wrong because, he claims, black men on average have lower IQs than white men.

The 10 people killed in Buffalo represent the highest death toll in mass shootings this year, according to the Archives of Gun Violence, which tracks them. The highest death toll this year before that was six, in a shooting in downtown Sacramento on April 3. Six people also died in the shooting in Corsicana, Texas, on February 5, and the same number died in the shooting in Milwaukee on January 23, according to the site.

Gun deaths hit the highest number ever recorded in the United States in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, surging by 35 percent, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday.

“This is a historic increase, with rates having reached their highest levels in more than 25 years,” said Dr. Debra E. Houry, deputy chief executive of the CDC and director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, at this week’s news briefing.

Dan Higgins, Luke Hammill, Glenn Sariawan, Adam Goldman, Alexandra E. Petri, Ashley Southall, Vimal Patel and Eduardo Medina contribution reporting. Jack Begg donated research.

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