(Fwrd Axis) A white gunman wearing military gear and motivated by hatred killed 10 people and three were wounded during a mass shooting in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York on Saturday afternoon.
Another victim is also in critical condition at a local hospital.
Law enforcement officials say 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron was wearing military-style gear when he walked into the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue shortly after 2:30 p.m. and began firing a rifle. Buffalo police say he was taken into custody and multiple victims were taken to the hospital.
BREAKING: BPD on scene of a mass shooting at the Tops in the 1200 block of Jefferson Avenue. Police say multiple people have been struck by gunfire. The shooter is in custody. Motorists and residents are urged to avoid the area.
— Buffalo Police Department (@BuffaloNYPolice) May 14, 2022
“This is pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said at a press conference. It was a straight-up, racially motivated hate crime.”
The FBI said the case would be investigated moving forward as a hate crime and a tragedy of “racially motivated violent extremism.”
The suspect “is not from this area and is from hours away and drove to Buffalo” to commit the crime, according to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul released a statement saying she is “closely monitoring” the situation and offered assistance to officials.
“I am closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo. We have offered assistance to local officials. If you are in Buffalo, please avoid the area and follow guidance from law enforcement and local officials,” she said.
Police have not yet identified what motivated the shooter to open fire at the grocery store.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Tops Friendly Markets spokeswoman Kathleen A. Sautter said in a statement.
“Our top priority remains the health and well-being of our associates and customers,” she added. “We appreciate the quick response of local law enforcement and are providing all available resources to assist authorities in the ongoing investigation.”
The FBI said Gendron live-streamed the shooting on the social media platform Twitch but the company said the video was taken down “less than two minutes after the violence started.”
A manifesto claiming to be written by the suspect showed plans to attack Black people and repeatedly cited the “Great Replacement” Theory, the false conspiracy theory that a cabal is attempting to replace white Americans with non-white people.
“We are aware of the manifesto allegedly written by the suspect and we’re working to definitively confirm that he is the author,” the law enforcement official said.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden has been briefed on the situation by his Homeland Security Advisor.
“He will continue to receive updates throughout the evening and tomorrow as further information develops,” she said. “The President and the First Lady are praying for those who have been lost and for their loved ones.”
Biden released a statement late Saturday night, calling the shooting an “act of domestic terrorism”.
“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.”
This is a developing story and will be updated with more information as it becomes available.