Buffalo mass shooting being investigated as a hate crime
The Saturday shooting at a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket that left 10 people dead will be investigated as a hate crime, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York Trini Ross said during a press conference.
Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the shooting a “straight-up racially motivated hate crime.”
Police said a white man drove from hours away to go into a Tops Friendly Market in a predominantly Black neighborhood and opened fire.
They said the shooter hit 13 people, with 11 of the 13 victims being Black. Ten died, while three were wounded but are expected to survive.
The shooter was wearing military gear and live streamed the incident on Twitch from a helmet camera.
Police identified the alleged gunman as 18-year-old Payton Gendron of Conklin, N.Y.
Gendron was arraigned on Saturday night and charged with one count of first-degree murder.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are assisting local authorities in the investigation.
“Tonight, the country mourns the victims of a senseless, horrific shooting in Buffalo, New York. The FBI and ATF are working closely with the Buffalo Police Department and federal, state, and local law enforcement partners,” Garland said.
The Department of Homeland Security said in a post on its official Twitter account that it is “actively coordinating with all relevant local, state, and federal agencies and will continue to provide the Department’s full support.”
Lawmakers responded to the mass shooting on Saturday, decrying the violence and calling for stricter gun laws.
“My prayers are with the victims of this racially motivated act of violence and my heart goes out to the victims’ loved ones, our emergency personnel and the entire Buffalo community. Racism, prejudice and hatred have no place in our state or our country,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) tweeted.
“I pledge to the people of New York that I will continue to fight my hardest to pass commonsense gun safety measures and to confront and defeat the scourge of white supremacy.”
— Updated on May 15 at 8:16 a.m.
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