Ten people were killed and three others injured in what authorities have described as a “racially-motivated” shooting at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket on Saturday.
Police arrested Payton Gendron, an 18-year-old white male, after he ― armed with an assault rifle and wearing a tactical vest ― opened fire outside and inside the Tops Friendly Market. The market is in a predominately Black neighborhood, about 3 miles north of downtown Buffalo.
At a press conference later Saturday, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the shooting a hate crime.
“This was pure evil,” Garcia said. “It was straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community, coming into our community and trying to inflict that evil upon us.”
Eleven of the 13 people who were shot are Black and two are white. At a press conference Saturday night, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) called the shooter “a white supremacist who has engaged in an act of terrorism, and will be prosecuted as such.”
Gendron traveled from Conklin, New York, about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Buffalo.
“This is the worst nightmare that any community can face, and we are hurting and we are seething right now,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at a news conference. “The depth of pain that families are feeling and that all of us are feeling right now cannot even be explained.”
Police also confirmed that the suspect livestreamed the shooting on Twitch. In a statement, a Twitch spokesperson confirmed there was a live broadcast of the shooting and said the company was working to monitor for any potential re-streams of the content.
The identities of the victims have not been released, but Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Saturday that one of the victims was a “beloved” retired Buffalo police officer who was working as a security guard for the store. Gramaglia said the security guard was killed when he exchanged gunfire with the suspect, striking the gunman once in his armor plating.