Biden meets with families of Buffalo shooting victims
President Biden on Tuesday met with the families of those who died in a racist shooting inside a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket over the weekend and paid his respects to the victims near the site of the massacre.
The president and first lady Jill Biden traveled to Buffalo in the wake of the shooting at a Tops grocery store on Saturday that left 10 dead.
Before meeting with families, the president and first lady stopped at a makeshift memorial that formed just outside the grocery store. The first lady laid a bouquet of flowers at the memorial, and the two stood silently and paid their respects.
Biden met with state and local officials while in Buffalo, including Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Kirsten Gilibrand (D-N.Y.).
The Bidens were expected to meet with family members of the victims and first responders for a couple of hours.
“He’s going to listen to them, he’s going to talk to them, he’s going to be there for them as their president,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said en route to Buffalo.
An 18-year-old gunman, identified by police as Payton Gendron, opened fire on patrons at a Tops Friendly Market on Saturday, killing 10 and wounding three. The supermarket was in a primarily Black neighborhood, and authorities are investigating the shooting as a hate crime given writings by the suspect that suggest he was influenced by a racist conspiracy theory about white people being replaced by minorities. Eleven of the 13 people shot were Black.
The president later Tuesday will give remarks decrying the shooting as an act of racist violence, and he will renew his calls for Congress to pass tougher gun laws.
But those calls in the wake of previous shootings in Colorado, Indianapolis, Texas, California and elsewhere have failed to break the gridlock in the Senate, where legislation strengthening background checks has struggled to garner the votes needed to break the 60-vote filibuster.
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