BUFFALO, N.Y. — At least 10 people were killed and three more were injured in Buffalo, New York, when an 18-year-old dressed in military gear opened fire at a supermarket Saturday afternoon.
The suspected gunman surrendered to police at the scene and was later identified as Peyton S. Gendron, according to WGRZ-TV. He was arraigned Saturday evening in Buffalo City Court on one charge of first-degree murder.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said that warrants are being obtained for the Buffalo supermarket mass shooting suspect’s home, vehicle, social media platforms, computer, telephone, and any other digital technologies.
At this time the investigation shows that 18-year-old Payton Gendron acted on his own in the shooting, Gramaglia said.
The police commissioner said Gendron was in Buffalo on Friday and that authorities have determined some locations he visited ahead of the shooting. He did some reconnaissance at Tops Friendly Markets store.
Update 7:54 p.m. EDT May 15: Buffalo Police have released the names of all the victims and survivors from the shooting.
Update 6:45 p.m. EDT May 15: The White House has announced that President Joe Biden and first lady would travel to Buffalo on Tuesday to “grieve with the community.”
Update 2:14 p.m. EDT May 15: Roberta Drury, 32, was killed after she went to the Tops store to buy groceries to make dinner, her sister, Amanda Drury, told The New York Times.
“She was very vibrant,” Amanda Drury told the newspaper. “She always was the center of attention and made the whole room smile and laugh.”
Update 1:45 p.m. EDT May 15: Pearly Young, 77, was killed while shopping in the store, WGRZ-TV reported. Her family told the television station that she loved singing, dancing and enjoying time with her family.
Young was a mother and grandmother and also served as a missionary, WGRZ reported.
Heyward Patterson, who frequently gave people rides to and from the supermarket and helped them carry their groceries, was among the 10 people fatally shot, Patterson’s great-niece, Teniqua Clark, told The New York Times.
Update 1:20 p.m. EDT May 15: Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at a news conference Sunday that the shooting at the Tops Family Market on Saturday was a “racist hate crime.” The mayor added that the attack will be prosecuted as a hate crime.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia agreed.
“This is an absolute racist hate crime, it will be prosecuted as a hate crime,” Gramaglia said.
Update 1:17 p.m. EDT May 15: Payton S. Gendron, the man accused of killing 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket, had previously threatened a shooting at his high school and was sent for mental health treatment, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.
Police became aware of Gendron last year after he threatened to carry out a shooting at Susquehanna High School in Conklin, New York, around the time of graduation, the official told the AP. New York State Police said troopers were called to the school on June 8, 2021, for a report that a 17-year-old student had made threatening statements.
Police said the student was taken into custody under a state mental health law and was taken to an area hospital for an evaluation. The police statement did not identify the student’s name.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia confirmed during a Sunday afternoon news conference that Gendron had been taken to a hospital for an evaluation.
Special Agent Steven Belongia of the FBI confirmed that neither the state police nor FBI had intelligence on Gendron before the evaluation, The New York Times reported.
Update 12:55 p.m. EDT May 15: While police have not released an official list of victims, another victim’s relative came forward with news of another person killed in the shooting.
Celestine Chaney, 65, was also killed at the Tops Friendly Market on Saturday, her son, Wayne Jones, 48, told The New York Times.
Chaney was visiting her sister and the two of them went to the supermarket because Chaney wanted to buy strawberries to make shortcake, Jones told the newspaper.
“She loved those,” Jones told the newspaper, adding that his aunt was able to hide in a freezer.
“But my mom cannot really walk like she used to,” Jones told the Times. “She basically can’t run.”
Update 12:47 p.m. EDT May 15: In a statement, President Joe Biden said law enforcement officials will continue to do their jobs but condemned the violence in Buffalo.
“We still need to learn more about the motivation for (the) shooting as law enforcement does its work, but we don’t need anything else to state a clear moral truth: A racially motivated hate crime is abhorrent to the very fabric of this nation,” Biden said. “Any act of domestic terrorism, including an act perpetrated in the name of a repugnant white nationalist ideology, is antithetical to everything we stand for in America. Hate must have no safe harbor. We must do everything in our power to end hate-fueled domestic terrorism.”
Later, Biden spoke at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitol.
“A lone gunman armed with weapons of war and hate-filled soul, shot and killed 10 innocent people in cold blood at a grocery store on Saturday afternoon,” Biden said. “Jill and I, like all of you, pray for the victims and their families and a devastated community.”
Update 12:15 p.m. EDT May 15: In a statement Sunday, Vice President Kamala Harris sent condolences to the victims of the supermarket shooting, adding that the country “is seeing an epidemic of violence.”
“Today our hearts are broken and we grieve for the victims of the horrific act of gun violence,” Harris said in a statement. “Law enforcement is proceeding with its investigation, but what is clear is that we are seeing an epidemic of hate across our country that has been evidenced by acts of violence and intolerance.
“We must call it out and condemn it. Racially motivated hate crimes or acts of violent extremism are harms against all of us.”
Update 11:41 a.m. EST May 15: Federal agents interviewed the parents of Payton S. Gendron, the 18-year-old accused of shooting and killing 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket and served multiple search warrants, The Associated Press reported.
Gendron’s parents, who live in Conklin, New York, were cooperating with investigators, the official said.
In a Sunday interview with ABC, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said that Gendron had been in town “at least the day before.”
“It seems that he had come here to scope out the area, to do a little reconnaissance work on the area before he carried out his just evil, sickening act,” Gramaglia told the network.
Update 10:59 a.m. EDT May 15: President Joe Biden said he was not sure if he would be able to visit Buffalo before he leaves for his trip to Asia later this week.
“We’re going to work that out now,” Biden told reporters while boarding Air Force One in Wilmington, Delaware, ahead of his flight back to DC on Sunday.
Original report: Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said that 13 people were shot in the attack at Tops Friendly Market, located in a predominately Black neighborhood north of downtown Buffalo. Three people were killed in the parking lot and seven more were shot and killed inside the store.
Three people sustained injuries that were not considered life-threatening. An Erie County Medical Center spokesperson told The Buffalo News that those three victims were in stable condition.
According to Gramaglia, eleven of the people shot were Black and two were white.
Gendron, who is white, was arraigned late Saturday, where he was charged with murder in the first degree. A public defender entered a not guilty plea for Gendron.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said that the 18-year-old shooting suspect “traveled hours” to the supermarket. Gendron traveled from Conklin, New York, about 200 miles southeast of Buffalo. Erie County district attorney, John Flynn, told The Washington Post that the gunman was not known to law enforcement. He added that there was evidence to indicate that the suspect had “racial animosity” but declined to provide more details to the Post.
Erie County Sheriff John Garcia pointedly called the shooting a hate crime.
“This was pure evil. It was straight up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community, outside of the City of Good neighbors ... coming into our community and trying to inflict that evil upon us,” Garcia said.
FBI special agent Stephen Belongia said that the FBI would be investigating the shooting as both a hate crime and racially motivated, violent extremism.
One of the victims in the shooting was Aaron Salter, a retired Buffalo police officer, according to WKBW. Salter worked as the store’s security guard when he fired multiple shots at the gunman. According to Gramaglia, Salter’s bullets hit the gunman’s bulletproof vest but had no effect. The suspect then shot Salter, killing him.
“One of the individuals inside the store is a security guard, a beloved security guard, who is a retired Buffalo police officer — a hero in our eyes — he engaged the suspect and fired multiple shots,” Gramaglia said in a news briefing.
A Tops employee told The Buffalo News that he was stocking shelves when shots rang out inside the store.
“It was a situation where everyone was running out,” the worker, who was not identified, told the newspaper. He was able to leave the store safely.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she was “closely monitoring” the shooting.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden is receiving regular updates on the shooting and its aftermath.
“The president has been briefed by his Homeland Security advisor on the horrific shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., this afternoon. He will continue to receive updates throughout the evening and tomorrow as further information develops,” she said, adding the president and first lady were praying for the victims and their loved ones.
Tops Friendly Markets is a supermarket chain based in Amherst, New York. It operates supermarkets in New York, Vermont and northern Pennsylvania, according to its website.
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