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.”
WHAT WE KNOW: 10 dead, 3 injured in Buffalo store shooting
Here’s what we know:
Gunman was armed with assault-style rifle
The suspect, identified by authorities as Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, New York, traveled several hours across the state to carry out the attack, authorities said.
Gramaglia said Gendron, armed with an assault-style rifle, arrived at the Tops Friendly Markets around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Four people were shot in the parking lot, three of whom died at the scene. After Gendron entered the store, “he began engaging customers inside,” Gramaglia said.
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The suspect was wearing a camera and livestreaming
The online platform Twitch said in a statement that it ended the livestream “less than two minutes after the violence started.”
Jennifer Tooke said she was walking through the store
when she heard gunshots.
“I ran through the deli and ran out the back door to get away from him,” she said. “When I came out here I just (saw) bodies laying in front of the store.”
BUFFALO SHOOTING: Gov. Kathy Hochul blames ‘white supremacist’
She circled back to the parking lot, where she saw several bodies on the ground in front of the store. She retrieved her phone from her car and called her cousin, who was also inside the store when gunfire erupted. Her cousin hid in a freezer and was not injured, she said. The pair reconnected outside.
“It was scary,” Tookes said, adding that the store was crowded at the time and that others ran out the back door as well. “A lot of people got away, thank God.”
She said she didn’t see the shooter, but when she heard the shots she “just started running.”
Security guard who confronted shooter among victims
A retired Buffalo police officer identified by authorities as Aaron Salter working in the store as a security guard confronted the shooter and shot him. Those bullets struck the attacker’s tactical vest, preventing injury, Gramaglia said. The gunman returned fire and Salter was fatally shot
The shooter “worked his way through the store” firing at others, and in the store’s lobby was confronted by Buffalo police, police said. The suspect pointed his own gun at his neck and police convinced him to drop the gun and surrender.
Authorities say the suspect live-streamed the attack on social media. Footage shows the gunman, dressed in military gear, pulling up to the front of the store with a rifle on the front seat, then pointing the rifle at people in the parking lot as he exited the vehicle, opened fire and entered the store.
Hochul describes shooter as ‘white supremacist’
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called the gunman a “white supremacist” who terrorized New York’s second-largest city in a “cold-hearted,” “military-style execution” as people were buying groceries.
“It strikes us in our very hearts to know that there’s such evil that lurks out there,” she said. “This individual – this white supremacist – who just perpetrated a hate crime on an innocent community, will spend the rest of his days behind bars. And heaven help him in the next world as well.”
President Joe Biden issued a statement saying he grieved for the families of those “whose lives were senselessly taken and everyone who is suffering the physical and emotional wounds of this horrific shooting.”
The suspect carried an assault weapon inscribed with a racial epithet, said U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, citing briefings with law enforcement officials.
In the past year, FBI Director Christopher Wray has repeatedly warned of the threat posed by racially motivated violent extremists, telling Congress that such cases represent the “biggest chunk” of the bureau’s domestic terrorism investigations. The same group, Wray told a Senate committee last year, were responsible for the most lethal attacks in the past decade.
Suspect’s lawyer seeks psychiatric exam for client
Gendron was arraigned Saturday evening before Buffalo City Court Judge Craig Hannah on one count of first-degree murder. Officials said they will weigh additional charges in the coming days.
Gendron’s attorney, Brian Parker, requested that his client undergo a psychiatric examination. Hannah ordered that Gendron be held without bail. He will return to court for a felony hearing Thursday morning.
A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that investigators were looking into whether Gendron had posted a manifesto online. The official was not permitted to speak publicly on the matter and did so on the condition of anonymity.
Buffalo police declined to comment on the document that focuses on racist, anti-immigrant and antisemitic beliefs, including a desire to drive all those not of European descent from the U.S. The document indicated Gendron drew inspiration from the shooter who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.
John Flynn, Erie County’s district attorney, said the suspect would face a variety of charges, including hate crime charges. Hochul said she had directed the state’s Hate Crime Task Force to begin an investigation.
Gendron may also face federal charges.
“We are investigating this incident as both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism,” said Stephen Belongia, special agent of charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office.
Gendron graduated from Susquehanna Valley High School in Conklin, about 10 miles southeast of Binghamton near the New York-Pennsylvania border. He had been a student at SUNY Broome Community College.
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Contributing: Christal Hayes, Kevin Johnson and Claire Thornton, USA TODAY, Sean Lahman, Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle