A heavily armed 18-year-old white gunman shot 10 people dead on Saturday at a Buffalo, New York grocery store in a “racially motivated” attack that he live-streamed on camera, authorities said.
The gunman, who was wearing a helmet and tactical gear, was arrested after the massacre, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told a news conference.
Gramaglia put the toll at 10 dead and three wounded. Police said most of the victims were Black.
The gunman first shot four people in the parking lot of the Tops supermarket, three of them fatally, then went inside and continued firing, Gramaglia said.
Among those killed inside the store was a retired police officer who was working as an armed security guard.
The guard “engaged the suspect, fired multiple shots,” but the gunman — who was protected by body armor — shot him, Gramaglia said.
When police arrived, the shooter put the gun to his neck, but was talked down and ultimately surrendered, he added.
Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office, told the news conference that the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.
“We are investigating this incident as both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism,” Belongia said.
Eerie County Sheriff John Garcia described the attack as “pure evil.”
“It was straight up racially motivated hate crime form somebody outside of our community,” he said.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said US President Joe Biden had been briefed on the “horrific shooting.”
Biden “will continue to receive updates throughout the evening and tomorrow as further information develops. The president and the first lady are praying for those who have been lost and for their loved ones,” Jean-Pierre added.
Police suspected that graphic video of that shooting which circulated online shortly afterward was filmed by the shooter himself, but have not confirmed the authenticity or if it was live-streamed.
With inputs from NDTV