Biden calls hate ‘stain on the soul of America’ in aftermath of Buffalo shooting
President Biden on Sunday called on Americans to root out hatred after a gunman shot and killed 10 people in Buffalo, N.Y., in what police have deemed a racially motivated mass shooting.
“We must all work together to address the hate that remains a stain on the soul of America,” Biden said during an address at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service outside the U.S. Capitol.
“Our hearts are heavy once again, but our resolve must never, ever waver. No one understands this more than the people sitting in front of me — moms, dads, children, family members — about how those folks in Buffalo feel today when they got the call,” Biden said.
Biden noted that officials are investigating the shooting as a hate crime and said he was receiving regular updates on the shooting, which occurred on Saturday afternoon at a grocery store.
Biden, who also addressed the shooting in a written statement late Saturday, spoke about it at the start of his remarks at the memorial service.
“A lone gunman armed with weapons of war and hate-filled soul shot and killed 10 innocent people in cold blood in a grocery store on Saturday afternoon,” Biden said. “Jill and I with all of you pray for the victims and their families and a devastated community.”
An 18-year-old gunman identified by police as Payton Gendron opened fire on patrons at a Tops Friendly Market on Saturday, killing 10 people and wounding three.
Authorities said following the shooting that it was being investigated as a hate crime. Officials said Gendron drove hours to the market, which was located in a predominantly Black neighborhood, and live streamed the incident. Eleven of the 13 people shot were Black.
“This was a straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said on Saturday.
Biden told reporters earlier Sunday that he wasn’t sure if he would visit Buffalo before he leaves for a trip to Asia on Thursday but indicated that he was weighing the possibility following the mass shooting.
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