What do we know so far?

crime

Officials said they are investigating the shooting as a racially motivated hate crime.

Police secure an area around a supermarket where several people were killed in a shooting Saturday, May 14, 2022 in Buffalo, NY. Officials said the gunman entered the supermarket with a gun and opened fire. Investigators believe the man may have live-streamed the shooting and checked if he posted a manifesto online (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP). The Associated Press

BUFFALO, NY (AP) — A white gunman in military gear attacked shoppers and workers at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday afternoon, killing 10 people and wounding three others. Most of the victims were black. Officials said they are investigating the shooting as a racially motivated hate crime.

A look at what we know so far:

WHAT HAPPENED?

A white 18-year-old man in military gear and live streaming with a helmet cam opened fire at Tops Friendly Market on Saturday afternoon. This is a supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York.

The shooter livestreamed the shooting to a small audience on Twitch for a few minutes before the platform paused his feed.

According to police, the gunman began firing in the parking lot and then moved into the store. Guard Aaron Salter fired several shots, but none penetrated the gunman’s armor. The shooter killed Salter and then strutted down the aisles, firing at shoppers.

When police confronted the gunman in the store’s anteroom, he put his rifle to his own neck but surrendered and dropped the gun, coaxing officers.

WHO IS THE SUSPECTED SHOOTER?

Police have identified the shooter as Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York. Conklin is a small town about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Buffalo, not far from the Pennsylvania state line.

Officials said the Gendron rifle used in the attack was legally purchased, but the magazines he used for ammunition were not allowed to be sold in New York.

After the shooting, Gedron appeared before a judge in a paper doctor’s coat and was charged with murder.

A document widely circulated online appears to outline Gedron’s racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic beliefs. Among them was the desire to evict all people of non-European descent from the United States. The document appeared to be inspired by the gunman who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.

WHO WERE THE VICTIMS?

Police have not released the names of most of the victims. They said that including the wounded, 11 victims were black and two were white.

One of those killed was Aaron Salter, a retired Buffalo police officer who worked as a security guard at the store. Salter fired several shots at the attacker, hitting him at least once.

Also among the dead was Ruth Whitfield, the 86-year-old mother of retired Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield. He told the Buffalo News his mother was “a mother to the motherless” and “a blessing to us all.” The newspaper also reported that Katherine Massey was killed.

WHAT DO THE AUTHORITIES SAY ABOUT THE MOTIF?

At a news conference Saturday, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the shooting a hate crime.

“It was pure evil. It was a racially motivated hate crime by someone outside of our community, outside of the town of good neighbors … who came into our community and tried to do this evil to us,” Garcia said.

The FBI is investigating the shooting as both a hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism.

Authorities have declined to comment on the document, which allegedly reveals the attacker’s racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic beliefs.

https://www.boston.com/news/crime/2022/05/15/buffalo-supermarket-shooting-what-do-we-know-so-far/ What do we know so far?

Rick Schindler

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