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‘Heinous’ hate crime shooting killed 10 in Buffalo

Newsman:  Ten people were killed and another three wounded when a mass shooting erupted at a busy supermarket in Buffalo, New York.  authorities allege it was a “racially motivated hate crime” carried out by heavily armed white teenager who fired a barrage of 50 shots outside and inside the market. Vigils and prayers services were being held across the city Sunday.

Eleven of the 13 people who were shot were Black, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. Ten was killed Three victims suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds, authorities said.

The suspect, who was taken into custody at the scene, is white. The FBI is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and racially-motivated violent extremism. 

In New York City, police said houses of worship would be the focus of extra vigilance.

“While we assess there is no threat to New York City stemming from this incident, out of an abundance of caution, we have shifted counterterrorism and patrol resources to give special attention to a number of locations and areas including major houses of worship in communities of color,” said Sgt. Brendan Ryan.

An 18-year-old male suspect Payton S. Gendron is in custody, police said. The shooter livestreamed the Saturday afternoon attack on social media, authorities said. wearing military fatigues, body armor and a tactical helmet, shot four people in the parking lot of a Tops supermarket around 2:30 p.m., three fatally. He proceeded inside the store where he was confronted by a retired Buffalo police officer working security, police said.

The suspect, Payton S. Gendron, of Conklin, New York, was arraigned Saturday evening in Buffalo City Court on one count of murder in the first degree, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office said.

He was remanded without bail and a felony hearing was scheduled for Thursday morning, according to the office.

In a written statement, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said the Justice Department “is investigating this matter as a hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism.”

“The Justice Department is committed to conducting a thorough and expeditious investigation into this shooting and to seeking justice for these innocent victims,” Garland said.

Voice Buffalo and other equity advocacy groups organized a vigil near the shooting scene that drew a crowd of hundreds Sunday morning. Among the speakers was the Rev. Mark Blue, president of the Buffalo NAACP, who called for unity among residents of all races.

Blue said everyone must “continue to support those who have been victimized by this heinous act” of racism.

“Too much hurt is in our community,” Blue said. “We are only stronger when we are together.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke Sunday morning at a service at True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo, saying Saturday’s attack “was not a random act of violence.”

We must “silence the voices of hatred and white supremacy all over the internet,” Hochul said.

“This is in a league of it’s own … a whole new dimension,” she said. “I want to silence those voices now, I want them to talk about Buffalo as the last place this ever happened, we will let this end right here.”

— A white gunman motivated by hate and dressed in tactical gear killed 10 people and wounded three others Saturday afternoon at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket, officials said.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the suspect “is from hours away and drove to Buffalo” to commit the crime.

 “This is the worst nightmare that any community can face,” he said.

Investigators are looking into where and how those weapons — a semiautomatic rifle, a hunting rifle and a shotgun — were purchased, the law enforcement official said.

Late Saturday, President Joe Biden said he was grieving the victims’ loved ones, thankful for the law enforcement response, and prayerful for the people of Buffalo.

He said in a statement that while the investigation into the shooting is not yet conclusive, the nation needs to do everything in its power to end hate-fueled violence.

“A racially motivated hate crime is abhorrent to the very fabric of this nation,” he 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.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said at an evening press conference that social media should have some ethical and perhaps legal responsibility for events related to the attack, including “radicalizing” mass shooters. The hosting of the livestream, she said, was “absolutely shocking.”

Continued gun violence in the United States, she added, must cease. “Yeah, I’m angry,” Hochul said.

FBI investigates alleged 180-page manifesto

An apparent manifesto with the suspect’s name, a shared birthdate, and biographical details in common with the suspect, was posted to Google Docs on Thursday night. 

In it, the author claimed to have been radicalized online and appeared to adhere to the false replacement theory, which has been used by white killers to justify violence against Muslims, Latinos, and Jewish people around the world.

Federal agents interviewed Gendron’s parents and were working to confirm the authenticity of a 180-page manifesto that was posted online, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Sunday. The manifesto detailed the plot and identified Gendron by name as the gunman, the official said. Authorities say the shooting was motivated by racial hatred.

Gendron’s parents were cooperating with investigators, the official said. The official was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation into the Saturday afternoon shooting publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

The gunman, The guard shot and struck the suspect but without effect due to the body armor, police said.

The gunman then proceeded to shoot nine more people inside the store, police said.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told ABC News on Sunday that police officers arrived at the store within one minute of getting the first report of the shooting in progress and raced toward the gunfire to confront the suspect.

Gramaglia said that upon seeing the officers, the assailant placed the barrel of an assault-type rifle up to his neck and threatened to shoot himself. He said officers were able to de-escalate the situation and talked the suspect into dropping the weapon.

“He had dropped down to his knees and began taking off his tactical gear and they immediately took them into custody,” Gramagilia said.

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